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VOL. I. 






No. I. SATURDAY, JANUARY 23, 1779. 

Quis novus hie hospes ? Vine. 

WHEN a stranger is introduced into a numerous 
company, he is scarcely seated before every body 
present begins to form some notion of his character. 
■The gay, the sprightly, and the inconsiderate, judge 
of him by the cut of his coat, the fashion of his peri- 
wig, and the ease or awkwardness of his bow. The 
cautious citizen, and the proud country gentleman, va- 
lue Siim according to the opinion they chance to adopt, 
the one, of the extent of his rent-roll, the other, of the 
length of his pedigree; and all estimate his merit, in 
proportion as he seems to possess, or to want, those 
qualities :or which themselves wish to be ad in red. 
If, in the course of conversation, they chance to disco- 
ver, that he is in use to make one in the polite circles 
of the metropolis; that he is familiar with the great, 
and sometimes closeted with the minister ; whatever 
contempt or indifference they may at' first have 
shewn, or ftlc themselves disposed to shew, they at 
once g-ive up their own judgment ; every one pays a 
compliment to his own sagacity, by assuming the me- 
rit of hannj, discovered that this stranger had the air 
of a man of fashion ; and all vie in. their attention and 

VOL. I. & 


civility, in hopes of establishing a more intimate ac- 

An anonymous periodical writer, when he first 
gives his works to the public, is pretty much in the 
situation of the stranger. If he endeavour to amuse 
the young and the lively, by the sprightliness of his 
wit, or the sallies of his imagination, the grave and 
the sedate throw aside his works as trifling and con- 
temptible. The reader of romance and sentiment 
finds no pleasure but in some eventful story, suited 
to his taste and disposition : while, with him who 
aims at instruction in politics, religion or morality, 
nothing is relished that has not a relation to the ob- 
ject he pursues. But, no sooner is the public inform*' 
ed, that this unknown author has already figured in 
the world as a poet, historian or essayist ; that his 
writings are read and admired by the Shaftsburies, 
the Addisons, and the Chesterfields of the age, than 
beauties are discovered in every line ; he is extolled 
as a man of universal talents, who can laugh with 
the merry, and be serious with the grave ; who, at 
one time, can animate his reader with the glowing 
sentiments of virtue and compassion, and at another, 
carry him through the calm disquisitions of science 
and philosophy. 

Nor is the world to be blamed for this general mode 
of judging. Before an individual can form an opini- 
on for himself, he is under a necessity of reading 
with attention, of examining whether the style and 
manner of the author be suited to his subject, if his 
thoughts and images be natural, his observations 
just, his arguments conclusive : and though all this 
may be done with moderate talents, and without any 
extraordinary share of what is commonly called 
learning ; yet it is a much more compendious me- 
thod, and saves much time, and labour, and reflec- 
tion, to follow the crowd, and to re-echo the opinions 
ef the critics. 


There is, however, one subject, on which every 
man thinks himselt qualified to decide, namely the 
representation of his own character, of the characters 
of those around him, and of the age in which he 
lives ; and, as I propose, in the following papers, 
" to hold, as it were the Mirror up to nature, to 
" shew Virtue her own features, Vice her own image, 
u and the very age and body of the time his form 
" and pressure/' my readers will judge for them_ 
selves, independent of names and authority, whethe 
the picture be a just one. This is a field, which 
however extensively and judiciously cultivated by my' 
predecessors, may still produce something new. The 
follies, the fashions, and the vices of mankind, are 
in constant fluctuation ; and these, in their turn, 
bring to light new virtues, or modifications of virtues, 
which formerly lay hid in the human soul, for want 
of opportunities to exert them. Time alone can 
shew whether I be qualified for the task I have un- 
dertaken. No man, without a trial, can judge of 
his ability to please the public ; and prudence for- 
bids him to trust the applauses of partial friendship. 

It may be proper, however, without meaning to 
anticipate the opinion of the reader, to give him some 
of the outlines of my past life and education. 

I am the only son of a gentleman of moderate for- 
tune. My parents died when I was an infant, leav- 
ing me under the guardianship of an eminent coun- 
sellor, who came annually to visit an estate he had 
in the neighbourhood of my father's, and of the cler- 
gyman of the parish, both of them men of distin- 
guished probity and honour. They took particular care 
of my education, intending me for one of the learned 
professions. At the age of twenty I had completed 
my studies, and was preparing to enter upon the thea 
tre of the world, when the death of a distant relation* 
in the metropolis left me possessed of a handsome 
fortune. I soon after set out on the tour of Europe ; 


and having passed five years in visiting the different 
courts on the Continent, and examining the manners, 
with, at least, as much attention as the pictures and 
buildings of the kingdoms through which I passed, I 
returned to my native country ; where a misfortune 
of the tenderest kind threw me, for some time, into 

By the assiduities of some friends, who have pro- 
mised to assist me in the present publication, I was 
prevented from falling a sacrifice to that languid in- 
activity which a depression of spirits never fails to 
produce. Without seeming to do so, they engaged 
me by degrees to divide my time between study and 
society ; restoring, by that means, a relish for both. 
2 once more took a share in the busy, and, sometimes, 
in the idle scenes of life. But a mind, habituated to 
reflection, though it may seem occupied with the oc- 
currences of the day, (a tax which politeness exacts, 
which every benevolent heart cheerfully pays,) will 
cften, at the same time, be employed in endeavour- 
ing to discover the springs and motives of action, 
which are sometimes hid from the actors themselves ; 
to trace the progress of character through the mazes 
in which it is involved by education or habit ; to mark 
those approaches to error into which unsuspecting 
innocence and integrity are too apt to be led ; and, 
in general, to investigate those passions and affections 
of the mind which have the chief influence on the 
happiness of individuals, or of society. 

If the sentiments and observations to which this 
train of thinking will naturally give rise, can be exhi- 
bited in this paper, in such a dress and manner as to 
afford amusement, it will, at least, be an innocent 
one ; and, though instruction is, perhaps, hardly to 
be expected from such desultory sketches, yet their 
general tendency shall be, to cultivate taste, and im- 
prove the heart. 




NO child ever heard from its nurse the story of 
Jack the Giant-killer's cap of darkness, without envy- 
ing the pleasures of invisibility ; and the idea of 
Gyges's ring has made, I believe, many a grave 
mouth water. 

This power is, in some degree, possessed by the 
writer of an anonymous paper. He can at least ex- 
ercise it for a purpose for which people would be most 
apt to use the privilege of being invisible, to wit, 
that of hearing what is said of himself. 

A few hours after the publication of my first num- 
ber, I sallied forth, with all the advantages of invisi- 
bility, to hear an account of myself and my paper. 
I must confess, however, that, for some time ; I was 
mortified by hearing no such account at all ; the first 
company I visited being dull enough to talk of last 
night's Advertiser, instead of the Mirror ; and the 
second, which consisted of ladies, to whom I ven- 
tured to mention the appearance of my first number, 
making a sudden digression to the price of a new- 
fashioned lutestring, and the colour of the trimming 
with which it would be proper to make it up into a 
gown. Nor was 1 more fortunate in the third place 
where I contrived to introduce the subject of my 
publication, though it was a coffee-house, where it 
is actually taken in for the use of the customers ; a 
set of old gentlemen, at one table, throwing it aside 
to talk over a bargain ; and a company of young 
ones, at another, breaking off in the middle to decide 
a match at billiards. 

It was not till I arrived at the place of its birth 
that I met with any traces of its fame. In the well- 
known shop of my editor I found it the subject of 
conversation ; though I must own, that, even here, 
sfome little quackery was used for the purpose, as he 

b 2 


had taken care to have several copies lying open on 
the table, besides the conspicuous appearance of the 
subscription-paper hung up fronting the door, with 
the word mirror a-top, printed in large capitals. 

The first question I found agitated was concerning 
the author, that being a point within the reach of eve- 
ry capacity. Mr. Creech, though much importuned 
on this head, knew his business better than to satisfy 
their curiosity : so the hounds were cast off to find 
him, and many a different scent they hit on. Firsfc> 
he was a Clergyman, then a Professor, then a Play- 
er, then a Gentleman of the Exchequer who writes 
plays, then a Lawyer, a Doctor of Laws, a Com- 
missioner of the Customs, a Baron of the Exchequer, 
a Lord of Session, a Peer of the Realm. A critic, 
who talked much about style, was positive as to the 
sex of the writer, and declared it to be female, 
strengthening his conjecture by the name of the pa- 
per, which, he said, would not readily have occurred 
to a man. He added, ihat it was full of Scotticisms, 
which sufficiently marked it to be a " home produc- 
« tion." 

This led to animadversions on the work itself ; 
which were begun by an observation of my own, that 
it seemed, from the slight perusal I had given it, to 
be tolerably well written. The critic above-mention- 
ed strenuously supported the contrary opinion ; and 
concluded his strictures on this particular publication, 
with a general remark on all modern ones, that there 
was no force of thought, nor beauty of composition, 
to be found in them. 

An elderly gentleman, who said he had a guess at 
the author, prognosticated, that the paper would be 
used as the vehicle of a system of scepticism, and 
that he had very little doubt of seeing Mr. Hume's 
posthumous works introduced in it. A short, squat 
man, with a carbuncled face, maintained, that it was 
designed to propagate methodism ; and said, he be- 


lieved it to be the production of a disciple of Mr. 
John Wesley. A gentleman in a gold chain differed 
from both ; and told us, he had been informed, from 
very good authority, that the paper was intended for 
political purposes. 

A smart-looking young man, in green, said, he 
was sure it would be very satirical : his companion, 
in scarlet, was equally certain that it would be very 
stupid. But with this last prediction I was not much 
offended, when I discovered that its author had not 
read the first number, but only enquired of Mr. 
Creech where it was published. 

A plump round figure, near the fire, who had just 
put on his spectacles to examine the paper, closed 
the debate, by observing, with a grave aspect, that 
as the author was anonymous, it was proper to be 
very cautious in talking of the performance. After 
glancing over the pages, he said, he could have wish- 
ed they had set apart a corner for intelligence from 
America : but, having taken off his spectacles, wiped 
and put them into their case, he said, with a tone of 
discovery, he had found out the reason why there 
was nothing of that sort in the mirror ; it was in 
order to save the tax upon newspapers. 

Upon getting home to my lodgings, and reflecting 
on what I had heard, I was for some time in doubt, 
whether I should not put an end to these questions 
at once, by openly publishing my name and intentions 
to the world. But I am prevented from discovering 
the first by a certain bashfulness, of which even my 
travels have not been able to cure me ; from declar- 
ing the last, by being really unable to declare them. 
The complexion of my paper will depend on a thou- 
sand circumstances which it is impossible to foresee. 
Besides these little changes, to which every one is 
liable from external circumstances, I must fairly ac- 
knowledge, that my mind is naturally much more 
various than my situation. The disposition of the 


author will not always correspond with the temper of 
the man : in the first character I may sometimes in- 
dulge a sportiveness to which I am a stranger in the 
latter, and escape from a train of very different 
thoughts, into the occasional gaiety of the mirror. 

The general tendency of my lucubrations, how- 
ever, I have signified in my first number, in allusion 
to my title : I mean to shew the world what it is, 
and will sometimes endeavour to point out what it 
should be. 

Somebody has compared the publisher of a perio- 
dical paper of this kind to the owner of a stage-coach, 
who is obliged to run his vehicle with or without pas- 
sengers. One might carry on the allusion through 
various points of similarity. I must confess to my 
customers, that the road we are to pass together is 
not a new one ; that it has been travelled again and 
again, and that too in much better carriages than 
mine. I would only insinuate, that, though the great 
objects are still the same, there are certain little 
edifices, some beautiful, some grotesque, and some 
ridiculous, which people, on every side of the read, 
are daily building, in the prospect of which we may 
find some amusement. Their fellow-passengers will 
sometimes be persons of high, and sometimes of low 
rank, as in other stage-coaches ; like them, too, 
sometimes grave, sometimes facetious ; but that la- 
dies and men of delicacy, may not be afraid to take 
places, they may be assured, that no scurrilous or 
indecent company will ever be admitted. 



Formam qudidem ipsam et faciem honesti vides, quae, si oculis 
cerneretur, mirabiles amores exciraret sapiential. Cic 

THE philosopher, and the mere man of taste, 
differ from vach other chiefly in this, that the latter 
is satisfied with the pleasure he receives from objects, 
without enquiring into the principles or causes from 
which that pleasure proceeds ; but the philosophical 
enquirer, not satisfied witn the effect which objects 
viewed by him, produce, endeavours to discover the 
reasons why some of those objects give pleasure, and 
others disgust; why one composition is agreeable, 
and another the reverse. Hence have arisen the va- 
rious systems with regard to the principles of beauty; 
and hence the rules, which, deduced from those prin- 
ciples, have been established by the critic. 

In the course of these investigations, various theo- 
ries have been invented to explain the different qua- 
lities, which when assembled together, constitute 
beauty, and produce that feeling which arises in 
the mind from the sight of a beautiful object. 
Some philosophers have said, that this feeling arises 
from the sight or examination of an object in which 
there is a proper mixture of uniformity and variety ; 
others have thought, that, beside uniformity and va- 
riety, a number of other qualities enter into the 
composition of an object that is termed beautiful. 

To engage in an examination of those different 
systems, or to give any opinion of my own with re- 
gard to them, would involve me in a discussion too 
abstruse for a paper of this kind. I shall, however, 
beg leave to present my readers with a quotation from 
a treatise, intitled, " An Inquiry into the Original of 
" our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue."* Speaking of the 

* By Dr. Hutcheson. 


effect which the beauty of the human figure has upoia 
our minds, the author expresses himself in the follow- 
ing words. 

" There is a farther consideration, which must not 
44 be passed over, concerning the external beauty of 
44 persons, which all allow to have great power over 
44 human minds. Now, it is some apprehended mo- 
44 rality, some natural or imagined indication of con- 
44 comitant virtue, which gives it this powerful charm 
44 above all other kinds of beauty. Let us consider 
44 the characters of beauty which are commonly ad- 
44 mired in countenances, and we shall find them to 
44 be sweetness, mildness, majesty, dignity, vivacity, 
44 humility, tenderness, good-nature ; that is, cer- 
44 tain airs, proportions, 4 je ne scai quois,' are natu- 
44 ral indications of such virtues, or of abilities or dis- 
44 positions towards them. As we observed above, of 
44 misery or distress appearing «in countenances; so, 
<4 it is certain, almost all habitual dispositions of mind 
<f form the countenance, in such a manner as to give 
44 some indications to the spectator. Our violent 
* passions are obvious, at first view, in the counte- 
44 nance, so that sometimes no art can conceal them ; 
44 and smaller degrees of them give some less ob- 
44 vious turns to the face, which an accurate eye will 
« observe." 

What an important lesson may be drawn by my 
fair countrywomen from the observations contained 
in this passage ! Nature has given to their sex beauty 
of external form greatly superior to that of the 
other ; the power which this gives them over our 
hearts they well know, and they need no instructor 
how to exercise it ; but whoever can give any pre- 
scription by which that beauty may be increased, or 
its decay retarded, is a useful monitor, and a bene- 
volent friend. 

Now I am inclined to think, that a prescription may 


be extracted from the unfashionable philosopher a- 
bove quoted, which will be more effectual in height- 
ening and preserving the beauty of the ladies, than all 
the pearl powder, or other cosmetics of the perfumer's 
shop. I hope I shall not be misunderstood, and I 
beg my fair readers may not think me so ill-bred, or 
so ignorant of the world, as to recommend the quali- 
ties mentioned in the above passage, on account of 
their having any intrinsic value. To recommend to 
the world to embrace virtue for its own sake, should 
be left to such antiquated fellows as the heathen phi- 
losopher from whom I have taken the motto of this 
number, or the modern philosopher who has borrowed 
much from his writings ; bu* I would not wish to 
sully my paper, or to prevent its currency in the 
fashionable circle, by such obsolete doctrines. 

Far be it from me, therefore, so much as to hint 
to a fine lady, that she should sometimes stay at 
home, or retire to the country with, that dullest of all 
dull companions, a husband, because it is the duty 
of a wife to pay attention to her spouse ; that she 
should speak civilly to her servants, because it is 
agreeable to the fitness of things ; that people under 
us should be well treated ; that she should give up 
play, or late hours upon Sunday, because the parson 
says Sunday should be devoted to religion. I know 
well, that nothing is so unfashionable as for a husband 
and wife to be often together ; that it is beneath a 
fine lady to give attention to domestic economy, or 
to demean herself so far as to consider servants to be 
of the same species with their mistresses ; and tkat 
going to church is fit only for fools and old women. 
But though I do not recommend the above, or the 
like practices, on their own account, and in so far 
must differ from the philosophical gentlemen I have 
referred to ; yet, I think, what they recommend ought 
to be attended to, for the good effects it may have 
on female beauty. Though I am aware, that every 


fine lady is apt, like Lady Townly, to faint at the rery- 
description of the pleasures of the country ; yet she 
ought to be induced to spend some of her time there, 
even though it should be her husband's principal 
place of residence ; because the tranquillity, and fresh 
air of the country, may repair some of the devasta- 
tions t*hich a winter-campaign in town may have 
made upon her cheeks. Though I knew also, that 
spending Sunday like a good Christian is the most 
tiresome and unfashionable of ail things ; yet, per- 
haps, some observance of the sabbath, and a iiitle 
regularity on that day, by going to church, and get- 
ting early to bed, may smooth those wrinkles which 
the late hours of the other six are apt to produce : 
and though economy, or attention to a husband's af- 
fairs, is, 1 allow, a mean and vulgar tiling in itself; 
yet, possibly ^ it should be so far attended to as to 
prevent that busband's total ruin ; because duns, and 
the other impertinent concomitants of bankruptcy, 
are apt, from the trouble they occasion, to spoil a 
fine face before its time. In like manner, though I 
grant it is below a fine lady to cultivate the qualities 
of sweetness, mildness, humility, tenderness, or good- 
nature, because she is taught that it is hei duty to 
do so ; I would nevertheless, humbly propose to the 
ladies, to be good-humoured* to be mild to their do- 
mestics, nay, to be complaisant even to their hus- 
bands ; because good humour, mildness and com- 
plaisance, are good for their faces. Attention to 
these qualities, I am inclined to believe, will do more 
for their beauty than the finest paint the most skil- 
fully laid on : the culture of them will give a higher 
lustre to their complexion, without any danger of this 
colouring, being rubbed off, or the natural fineness 
of the skin being hurt by its use. 

Let every bay, therefore, consider that whenever 

ys or does a ^o^d-humoured thing, she adds a 

;'i„ ^..auty to her countenance ; that by giving some 


attention to the affairs of her family, and now and 
then living regularly, and abstaining from the late 
hours of dissipation, she will keep off, somewhat 
longer than otherwise, the wrinkles of age : and I 
would hope the prescription I have given may, 
amidst the more important cares of pleasure, appear 
deserving of her attention. 

This prescription must, from its nature, hi con- 
fined to the ladies, beauty in perfection being their 
prerogative. To recommend virtue to our fine gen- 
tlemen, because vice may hurt their shapes, or spoil 
their faces, might appear somewhat like irony, which, 
on so serious a subject, I would wish to avoid. Some 
considerations may, however, be suggested, why 
even a fine gentleman may find his account in an 
occasional practice of virtue, without derogating from 
the dignity of that character which it costs him so 
much labour to attain ; and these may perhaps be 
the subject of a future paper. 


Meliora pii docuere parentes. Hoa. 

THE following letter I received from an unknown 
correspondent. The subject of it is so important, 
that I shall probably take some future opportunity of 
giving my sentiments on it to the public : in the mean 
time I am persuaded it will afford matter of much 
serious consideration to many of my readers. 

To the Author of tlie Mirror. 
AT the age of twenty-five I succeeded to an estate 
of 15001 a year by the death of a father, by whom I 
vol. i. c 


was tenderly beloved, and for whose memory I stiH 
retain the most sincere regard. Not long after I 
married a lady, to whom I had for some time; been 
'warmly attached. As neither of us were fond of the 
bustle of the world, and as we found it every day 
become more irksome, we took the resolution of 
quitting it altogether ; and soon after retired to a 
family-seat, which has been the favourite residence 
of my ancestors for many successive generations. 

There I passed my days in as perfect happiness 
as any reasonable man can expect to find in this 
world. My affection and esteem for my wife in- 
creased daily ; and as she brought me three fine 
children, two boys and a girl, their prattle afforded 
a new fund cf amusement. There were, likewise, in 
our neighbourhood several families that might have 
adorned any society, with whom we lived on an easy, 
friendly fooling, free from the restraints of ceremony, 
which, in the great world, may, perhaps, be neces- 
sary, but, in private life, are the bane of all social in- 

There is no state, however, entirely free from care 
and uneasiness. My solicitude about my children in- 
creased with their years. My boys, in particular, 
gave me a thousand anxious thoughts. Many plans 
of education were proposed for them, of which the ad- 
vantages and disadvantages were so equally balanced, 
as to render the choice of any one a matter of no 
small perplexity. 

Meantime the boys grew up ; and the eldest, who 
was a year older than his brother, had entered his 
tenth year, when an uncle of my wife, who, by his 
services in parliament, and an assiduous attendance 
at court, had obtained a very considerable office under 
government, honoured us with a visit. He seemed 
much pleased with the locks, the spirit., and promis- 
ing appearance of my sons ; he paid me many com- 
pliments on the occasion, and I listened to him with 


all the pleasure a fond parent feels in hearing the' 
praises of his children. 

After he had been some days with us, he asked me 
in what manner I proposed to educate the boys, and 
what my views were as to their establishment in the 
world ? I told him all my doubts and perplexities. 
He enlarged on the absurdity of the old fashioned 
system of education, as he termed it, and talked much 
of the folly of sending a boy to Eton or Westminster, 
to waste the most precious years of his life in ac- 
quiring languages of little or no real use in the world ;■ 
and begged leave to suggest a plan, which, he said, 
had been attended with the greatest success in a va- 
riety of instances that had fallen within his own par- 
ticular knowledge. 

His scheme was to send my sons for two or three 
years to a private school in t'ne neighbourhood of Lon- 
don, where they might get rid of their provincial dia- 
lect, which* he observed; would be alone sufficient to 
disappoint all hopes of their future advancement. He 
proposed co send theiri afterwards to an academy at 
Paris, to acquire the French language, with avevy 
other accomplishment necessary to fit them for the 
world, " When your eldest son," added he, '• is 
thus qualified, it will be easy for me to get him ap- 
pointed secretary to an embassy ; and if he shall then 
possess those abilities of which he has now every ap- 
pearance, I make no doubt I shall be able to procure 
him a seat in parliament ; and there will be no office 
in the state to which he may not aspire. As to your 
secbnd son, give him the same education you give 
his brother ; and when he is of a proper age, get him 
a commission in the army, and push him on in that 
line as fast as possible." 

Though I saw some objections to this scheme, 
yet, I must confess, the flattering prospect of ambi- 
tion it opened, had a considerable effect upon my 
mind j and' as my wife, who had been taught to re- 


ceive the opinions of her kinsman with the utmost 
deference, warmly seconded his proposal, I at length, 
though not without reluctance, gave my assent to it. 
When the day cf departure came, I accompanied 
my boys part of the way ; and, at taking leave of 
them, felt a pang I then endeavoured to conceal, and 
which I need not now attempt to describe. 

I had the satisfaction to receive, from time to time, 
the most pleasing accounts of their progress ; and, 
after they went to Paris, I was still more and more 
flattered with what I heard of their improvement. 

At length the wished for period of their return ap- 
proached : I heard of their arrival in Britain, and 
that, by a certain day, we might expect to see them 
at home. We were all impatience : my daughter, 
in particular, did nothing but count the hours and 
minutes, and hardly shut her eyes the night pre- 
ceding the day on which her brothers were expected : 
her mother and I, though we showed it less, felt, I 
believe, equal anxiety. 

When the day came, my girl, who had been con- 
stantly on the look-out, ran to tell me she saw a post- 
chaise driving to the gate. We hurried down to re- 
ceive the boys. But, judge of my astonishment, 
when I saw two pale emaciated figures get out of the 
carriage, in their dress and looks resembling mon- 
kies rather than human creatures. What was still 
worse, their manners were more displeasing than 
their appearance. When my daughter ran up, with 
tears cf joy in her eyes, to embrace her brother, he 
held her from him, and burst into an immoderate fit 
of laughter at something in her dress that appeared 
to him ridiculous. He was joined in the laugh by his 
younger brother, who was pleased, however, to say, 
that the girl was not ill-looking, and, when taught 
to put on her cloaths, and to use a little rouge, would 
fee tolerable. 


Mortified as I was at this impertinence, the parti- 
ality of a parent led me to impute it, in a great mea- 
sure to the levity of youth ; and I still flattered my* 
self that matters were not so bad as they appeared to 
be. In these hopes I sat down to dinner. But there 
the behaviour of the young gentlemen did not, by 
any means tend to lessen my chagrin : there was no- 
thing at table they could eat : they ran out in praise 
of French cookery, and seemed even to be adepts in 
the science ; they knew the component ingredients 
of the most fashionable ragoos and fricandeaus, and 
were acquainted with the names and characters of 
the most celebrated practitioners of the art in Paris. 

To stop this inundation of absurdity, and, at the 
same time, to try the boys further, I introduced some 
topics of conversation, on which they ought to have 
been able to say something. But, on these subjects, 
they were perfectly mute ; and I could plainly see 
their silence did not proceed from the modesty and 
diffidence natural to youth, but from the most per- 
fect and profound ignorance. They soon, however, 
took their revenge for the restraint thus imposed on 
them. In their turn they began to talk of things, 
which to the rest of the company, were altogether 
unintelligible. After some conversation, the drift of 
which we could not discover, they got into a keen de- 
bate on the comparative merit of the " Dos de Puce," 
and the " Puce en Couches ;" and, in the course of 
their argument, used words and phrases which to us 
were equally incomprehensible as the subject on 
which they were employed. Not long after my poor 
girl was covered with confusion, on her brother's 
asking her, if she did not "think the * cuisse de la 
" reine" the prettiest thing in the world ? 

But, Sir, I should be feapp;*, were I able to say, 

that ignorance and folly, bad as they are, were all I 

had to complain of. I am sorry to add, that my 

young men seem to have made an equal progress in 

c 2 


vice. It was but the other day I happened to observe 
to the eldest, that it made me uneasy to see his bro- 
ther look so very ill ; to which he replied, with an 
air of the most easy indifference, that poor Charles 
had been a little unfortunate in an affair with an ope- 
ra-girl at Paris : but, for my part, added he, I never 
ran those hazards, as I always confined my amours 
to women of fashion. 

In short, Sir, these unfortunate youths have re- 
turned ignorant of every thing they ought to know ; 
their minds corrupted, and their bodies debilitated, 
by a couise of premature debauchery. I can easily 
see that I do not possess either their confidence or 
affection ; and they even seem to despise me for the 
want of those frivolous accomplishments on which 
they value themselves so highly. In this situation, 
what is to be done ? Their vanity and conceit make 
them incapable of listening to reason or advice ; and 
to use the authority of a parent, would, probably, be 
as ineffectual for their improvement, as to me it 
would be unpleasant. 

1 have thus, Sir, laid my case before you, in hopes 
©f being favoured with your sentiments upon it. Pos- 
sibly it may be of some benefit to the public, by serv- 
ing as a beacon to others in similar circumstances. 
As to myself, I hardly expect you will be able to 
point out a remedy for that affliction which preys 
upon the mind, and, in all likelihood, will shorten 
the days of 

Your unfortunate, humble servant, 

L. G. 


Vitreus's favours have been received, and shall 
be duly attended to. 

A letter signed A. Z. and an essay subscribed I>. 
are under consideration. 


On Wednesday next (Tuesday being appointed 
for the day of the national fast) will be published 
No. V. 


PEDANTRY, in the common sense of the word, 
paeans an absurd ostentation of learning, and stiffness 
of phraseology, proceeding from a misguided know- 
ledge of books, and a total ignorance of men. 

But I have often thought, that we might extend its 
signification a good deal farther : and, in general, ap- 
ply it to that failing which disposes a person to ob- 
trude upon others, subjects of conversation relating 
to his own business r studies, or amusement. 

In this sense of the phrase, we should find pedants 
in every character and condition of life. Instead of a 
black coat and plain shirt, we should often see pe- 
dantry appear in an embroidered suit and Brussels 
lace ; instead of being bedaubed with snuff, we should 
find it breathing perfumes ; and, in place of a 
book-worm, crawling through the gloomy cloisters 
of an university, we should mark it in the state of a 
gilded butterfly, buzzing through the gay region of 
the drawing-room. 

Robert Daisey, esq. is a pedant of this last kind. 
When he tells you, that his ruffles cost twenty gui- 
neas a-pair ; that his buttons were the first of the 
kind, made by one of the most eminent artists in 
Birmingham ; that his buckles were procured by 
means of a friend at Paris, and are the exact pattern 
of those worn by the Comte d'Artois ; that the loop 
of his hat was of his own contrivance, and has set 
the fashion to half a dozen of the finest fellows in 


town : when he descants on all these particulars, with 
that smile of self complacency which sits for ever on 
his cheek, he is as much a pedant as his quondam 
tutor, who recites verses from Pindar, tells stories 
out of Herodotus, and talks for an hour on the ener- 
gy of the Greek particles. 

But Mr. Daisey is struck dumb by the approach of 
his brother Sir Thomas, whose pedantry goes a pitch 
higher, and pours out all the intelligence of France 
and Italy, whence the young baronet is just returned, 
after a tour of fifteen months over all the kingdoms 
of the continent. Talk of music, he cuts you short 
with the history of the first singer at Naples ; of 
painting, he runs you down with a description of the 
gallery at Florence ; of architecture, he overwhelms 
you with the dimensions of St. Peter's } or the great 
church at Antwerp ; or, if you leave the province of 
art altogether, and introduce the name of a river or 
hill, he instantly deluges you with the Rhine, or 
makes you dizzy with the height of Etna, or Mont 

Miss will have no difficulty of owning her great 
aunt to be a pedant, when she talks all the time of 
dinner on the composition of the pudding, or the 
seasoning of the mince-pies ; or enters into a dis- 
quisition ofi the figure of the damask table-cloth, with 
a word or two on the thrift of making one's own 
linen : but the young lady will be surprised when I 
inform her, that her own history of last Thursday's 
assembly, with the episode of Lady Di's feather, and 
the digression to the qualities of Mr. Frizzle the hair- 
dresser, was also a piece of downright pedantry. 

Mrs. Caudle is guilty of the same weakness, when 
she recounts the numberless witticisms of her daugh- 
ter Emmy, describes the droll figure her little Bill 
made yesterday at trying on his first pair of breeches, 
and informs that Bobby has got seven teeth, and is 
just cutting an eighth, though he will be but nine 


months old next Wednesday at six o'clock in the 
evening. Nor is her pedantry less disgusting, when 
she proceeds to enumerate the virtues and good qua- 
lities of her husband ; though this last species is so 
uncommon, that it may, perhaps, be admitted into 
conversation for the sake of variety. 
. Muckworm is the meanest of pedants when he tells 
you of the scarcity of money at present, and that he 
is amazed how people can afford to live as they do ; 
that for his part though, he has a tolerable fortune, 
he finds it exceedingly difficult to command cash for 
his occasions ; that trade is so dead, and debts so ill 
paid at present, that he was obliged to sell some 
shares of bank-stock to make up the price of his last 
purchase ; and had actually countermanded a service 
of plate, else he should have been obliged to strike 
several names out of the list of his weekly pension- 
ers ; and that this apology was sustained the other 
day by the noble company (giving you a list of three 
or four peers, and their families) who did him the 
honour to eat a bit of mutton with him. All this, 
however, is true. As i& also another anecdote, which 
Muckworm forgot to mention : his first cousin dined 
that day with the servants, who took compassion on 
the lad, after he had been turned down stairs, with a 
refusal of twenty pounds to set him up in the trade 
of a shoe-maker. 

There is pedantry in every disquisition, however 
masterly it may be, that stops the general conversa- 
tion of the company. When Silius delivers that sort 
of lecture he is apt to get into, though it is support- 
ed by the most extensive information and the clearest 
discernment, it is still pedantry ; and, while I admire 
the talents of Silius, I cannot help being uneasy at 
his exhibition of them. In the course of this disser- 
tation, the farther a man proceeds, the more he 
seems to acquire strength and inclination for the pro- 
gress. Last night after supper, Silius began upon 


Protestantism, proceeded to the Irish massacre, went 
through the revolution, drew the character of King 
William, repeated anecdotes of Schomberg, and end- 
ed at a quarter past twelve, by delineating the course 
of the Boyne, in half a bumper of port, upon my 
best table ; which river, happening to overflow its 
banks, did infinite damage to my cousin Sophy's, 
white satin petticoat. 

In short, everything, in this sense of the word, is 
pedantry, which tends to destroy that equality of 
conversation which is necessary to the perfect ease 
and good humour of the company. Every one would 
be struck with the unpoliteness of that person's be- 
haviour, who should help himself to a whole plate 
of pease or strawberries which some friend had sent 
him for a rarity in the beginning of the season.— 
Now, conversation is one of those good things of 
which our guests or companions are equally intitled 
to a share as of any other constituent part of the 
entertainment ; and it is as essential a want of po- 
liteness to engross the one, as to monopolize the 

Besides, it unfortunately happens, that we are very- 
inadequate judges of tke value of our own discourse, 
or the rate at which the dispositions of our compa- 
ny will incline them to hold it. The reflections we 
make, and the stories we tell, are to be judged of 
by others, who may hold a very different opinion of 
their acuteness or their humour. It will be prudent, 
therefore, to consider, that the dish we bring to this 
entertainment, however pleasing to our own taste, 
may prove but moderately palatable to those we mean 
to treat with it ; and that to every man, as well as 
ourselves, (except a few very humble ones,) his own 
conversation is the plate of pease or strawberries. 



Nee excitatur classico miles true*, 

Nee horret iratum mare ; 
Forumque vitat, et ouperba civium 

Potentiorum limina. Hor. 

GREAT talents are usually attended with a pro- 
portional desire of exerting them ; and, indeed, were 
it otherwise, they would be, in a great measure, use- 
less to those who possess them, as well as to society. 

But, while this disposition generally leads men of 
high parts and high spirit to take a share in active 
life, by engaging in the pursuits of business or am- 
bition, there are, amidst the variety of human cha- 
racter, some instances, in which persons eminently 
possessed of those qualities give way to a contrary 

A man of an aspiring mind and nice sensibility 
may, from a wrong direction, or a romantic excess 
of spirit, find it difficult to submit to the ordinary 
pursuits of life. Filled with enthusiastic ideas of 
the glory of a general, a senator, or a statesman, he 
may look with indifference, or even with disgust, on 
the less brilliant, though, perhaps, not less useful 
occupations, of the physician, the lawyer, or the 

My friend Mr. Umphraville is a remarkable in- 
stance of great talents thus lost to himself and to 
society. The singular opinions which have influ- 
enced his conduct, I have often heard him attempt, 
with great warmth, to defend. 

" In the pursuit of an ordinary profession," wouLl 
he say, " a man of spirit and sensibility, while he 
«* is subjected to disgusting occupations, finds it ne- 
" cessary to submit with patience, nay, often with 
" the appearance of satisfaction, to what he will be 
u apt to esteem dullness, folly, or impertinence, in 


" those from whose countenance, or opinion, he 
" hopes to derive success ; and, while he pines in 
" secret at so irksome a situation, perhaps, amidst 
" the crowds with whom he converses, he may not 
" find a friend to whom he can communicate his 
" sorrows. 

" If, on the other hand," he would add, " he be- 
" takes himself to retirement, it is true he cannot 
" hope for an opportunity of performing splendid 
" actions, or of gratifying a passion for glory ; but 
H if he attain not all that he wishes, he avoids much 
•* of what he hates. Within a certain range he will 
" be master of his occupations and his company ; 
" his books will, in part, supply the want of society ; 
" and, in contemplation at least, he may often enjoy 
" those pleasures from which fortune has precluded 
" him. 

" If the country, as will generally happen, be the 
" place of his retirement, it will afford a variety of 
H objects agreeable to his temper. In the prospect 
" of a lofty mountain, an extensive plain, or the 
•* unbounded ocean, he may gratify his taste for the 
" sublime ; while the lonely vale, the hollow bank, 
" or the shady wood, will present him a retreat 
" suited to the thoughtfulness of his disposition.'* 

Such are the sentiments which have formed the 
character of Mr. Umphraville, which have regulated 
the choice and tenor of his life. 

His father, a man of generosity and expence be- 
yond his fortune, though that had once been consi- 
derable, left him, at the age of twenty-five, full of 
the high sentiments natural, at these years, to a 
young gentleman brought up as the heir of an an- 
cient family, and a large estate, with a very incon- 
siderable income to support them ; for though the 
remaining part of the family -fortune still afforded 
him a rent-roll of 10001. a-year, his clear revenue 
could scarcely be estimated at 3001. 


Mr. Umphravillej though he wanted not a relish 
for polite company and elegant amusements, was 
more distinguished for an ardent desire of know- 
ledge ; in consequence of which he had made an un- 
common progress in several branches of science. 
The classical writers of ancient and modern times, 
but especially the former, were those from whose 
works he felt the highest pleasure ; yet he had, 
among other branches of learning, obtained a con- 
siderable knowledge of jurisprudence, and was a to- 
lerable proficient in mathematics. 

On these last circumstances his friends founded 
their hopes of his rising in the world. One part of 
them argued, from the progress he had made in ju- 
risprudence, that he would prove an excellent law- 
yer ; the other, that his turn for mathematics would 
be an useful qualification in a military life ; and all 
agreed in the necessity of his following some pro- 
fession in which he might have an opportunity of 
repairing his fortune. 

Mr. Umphraville, however, had very different 
sentiments. Though he had studied the science of 
jurisprudence with pleasure, and would not have 
declined the application of its principles, as a mem- 
ber of the legislature, he felt no great inclination to 
load his memory with the rules of our municipal 
law, or to occupy himself in applying them to the 
uninteresting disputes of individuals : and, though 
he neither wanted a taste for the art, nor a passion 
for the glory of a soldier, he was full as little dis- 
posed to carry a pair of colours at a review, or to 
line the streets in procession. Nor were his objec- 
tions to other plans of bettering his fortune, either 
at home or abroad, less unsurmountble. 

In short, after deliberating on the propositions of 
his friends, and comparing them with Ins own feel- 
ings, Mr. Umphraville concluded, that, as he could 
not enter into the world in a way suited to his in- 

VOL. i. d 


clination and temper, the quiet'and retirement of a 
country-life, though with a narrow fortune, would 
be more conducive to his happiness than the pursuit 
of occupations to which he felt an aversion, even 
should they be attended with a greater degree of suc- 
cess than, from that circumstance, he judged to be 

Agreeably to this opinion he took his resolution ; 
and, notwithstanding the opposition of his friends, 
retired, a few months after his father's death, to his 
estate in the country, where he has lived upwards of 
forty years ; his family, since the death of his mo- 
ther, a lady of uncommon sense and virtue, who sur- 
vived her husband some time, having consisted only 
of himself, and an unmarried sister, of a disposition 
similar to his own. 

Neither his circumstances nor inclination led Mr. 
Umphraville to partake much of the jollity of his 
neighbours. His farm has never exceeded what he 
found absolutely necessary for the conveniency of 
his little family ; and though he employed himself 
for a few years in extending his plantations over the 
neighbouring grounds, even that branch of industry 
he soon laid aside, from a habit of indolence, 
which has daily grown upon him ; and since it has 
been dropped, his books, and sometimes his gun, 
with the conversation of his sister, and a few friends, 
who now and then visit him, entirely occupy his 

In this situation, Mr. Umphraville has naturally 
contracted several peculiarities, both of manner and 
opinion. They are, however, of a kind which nei- 
ther lessen the original politeness of the one, nor 
weaken the natural force and spirit of the other. In 
a word, though he has contracted rust, it is the rust 
of a great mind, which, while it throws a certain 
melancholy reverence, around its possessor, rather 


enhances than detracts from the native beauty and 
dignity of his character. 

These particulars will suffice for introducing this 
gentleman to my readers, and I may afterwards take 
occasion to gratify such of them as wish to know 
somewhat more of a life and opinions with which I 
laave long been intimately acquainted. 


Indocilis privata lcqui. Luc. 

To the Author of the Mirror. 


I AM a sort of retainer to the muses ; and, though 
I cannot boast of much familiarity with themselves, 
hold a subordinate intimacy with several branches of 
their family. I never made verses, but I can re- 
peat several thousands. Though I am not a writer, 
I am reckoned a very ready expounder of enigmas ; 
and I have given many good hints towards the com- 
position of some favourite rebuses and charades. I 
have also a very competent share of classical learn- 
ing ; I can construe Latin when there is an English 
version on the opposite column, and read the Greek 
character with tolerable facility ; I speak a little 
French, andean make shift to understand the subject 
Italian opera. 

With these qualifications, Sir, I am held in con- 
siderable estimation by the wits of both sexes. I 
am sometimes allowed to clap first at a play, and 
pronounce a firm encore after a fashionable song. I 
am consulted by several ladies before they stick 


their pin into the catalogue of the circulating library ,; 
and have translated to some polite companies all the 
mottos of your paper, except the last, which, being 
somewhat crabbed, I did not chuse to risk my credit 
by attempting. I have at last ventured to put my- 
self into print in the Mirror : and send you infor- 
mation of a scheme I have formed for making my 
talents serviceable to the republic of letters. 

Every one must have observed the utility of a pro- 
per selection of names to a play or a novel. The 
bare sounds of Monimia or Imoinda set a tender- 
hearted lady a crying ; and a letter from Edward to 
Maria contains a sentiment in the very title. 

Were I to illustrate this by an opposite example, 
as schoolmasters give exercises of bad Latin, the 
truth of my assertion would appear in a still stronger 

Suppose, Sir, one had a mind to write a very pa- 
thetic story of the disastrous loves of a young lady 
and a young gentleman, the first of whom was called 
Gubbins, and the latter Gubblestones, two very res- 
pectable names in some parts of our neighbour- 
country. The Gubbinses, from an ancient family 
feud, had a mortal antipathy at the Gubblestoneses ; 
this, however, did not prevent the attachment of 
the heir of the last to the heiress of the former ; an 
attachment begun by accident, increased by acquaint- 
ance, and nourished by mutual excellence. But the 
hatred of the fathers was unconquerable ; and old 
Gubbins having intercepted a letter from young 
Gubblestones, breathed the most horrid demmcia- 
tioiis of vengeance against his daughter, if ever he 
should discover the smallest intercourse between her 
and the son of his enemy ; and, farther, effectually 
to seclude any chance of an union with so hatred a 
name, he instantly proposed a marriage between her 
and a young gentleman' lately returned from his 
travels, a Mr. Clutterbuck, who had seen her at a 


ball, and was deeply smitten with her beauty. On 
being made acquainted with this intended match, 
Gubblestones grew almost frantic with grief and 
despair. Wandering round the house where his 
loved Gubbins was, confined, he chanced to meet Mr* 
Clutterbuck hasting to an interview with his destined 
bride. Stung with jealousy and rage, reckless of 
life, and regardless of the remonstrances of his rival, 
he drew, and attacked him with desperate fury. — 
Both swords were sheathed at once in the breasts of 
the combatants. Clutterbuck died on the spot: his 
antagonist lived but to be carried to the house of his 
implacable enemy, and breathed his last at the feet 
of his mistress. The dying words of Gubblestones, 
the succeeding phrenzy and death of Gubbins, the 
relenting sorrow of their parents, with the descrip- 
tion of the tomb in which Gubbins, Gubblestones, 
and Clutterbuck, were laid, finish the piece, and 
would leave on the mind of the reader the highest 
degree of melancholy and distress, were it not for 
the unfortunate sounds which compose the names of 
the actors in this eventful story ; yet these names, 
Mr* Mirror, are really and truly right English 
surnames, and have as good a title to be unfortunate 
as those of Mordaunt, Montague, or Howard. 

Nor is it only in the sublime or the pathetic that 
a happy choice of names is essential to good writing. 
Comedy is so much beholden to this article, that I 
have known some with scarcely any wit ®r character 
but what was contained in the Dramatis Persons. — ■ 
Every other species of writing, in which humour or 
character is to be personified, is in the same predic- 
ament, and depends for great part of its applause on 
the knack of hitting off a lucky allusion from the 
name to the person. Your brother essayists have 
been particularly indebted to this invention for sup- 
plying them with a very necessary material in the 
construction of their papers. In the Spectator, I 
s 2 


find, from an examination of my notes on the sub- 
ject, there are 532 names of characters and corres- 
pondents, 394 of which are descriptive and charac- 

Having thus shewn the importance of the art of 
name-making, I proceed to inform you of my plan 
for assisting authors in this particular, and saving 
them that expence of time and study which the in- 
vention of names proper for different purposes must 

I have, from a long course of useful and extensive 
reading, joined to an uncommon strength of memory, 
been enabled to form a kind of dictionary of names 
for all sorts of subjects, pathetic, sentimental, seri- 
ous, satyrical, or merry. For novelists, I have made 
a collection of the best-sounding English, or English- 
like, trench, or French-like names; I say, the best 
sounding, sound being the only thing necessary in 
that department. For comic writers, and essayists 
of your tribe, Sir, I have made up, from the works 
of former authors, as well as from my own invention, 
a list of names, with the characters or subjects to 
which they allude, prefixed. A learned friend has 
furnished me with a parcel cf signatures for political, 
philosophical, and religious essayists in the news- 
papers, among which are no fewer than eighty-six 
compounds beginning with Philo, which are all from 
four to seven syllables long, and cannot fail to have 
a powerful tendency towards the edification and con- 
viction of country-readers. 

For the use of serious poetry, I have a set of 
names, tragic, elegiac, pastoral, and legendary ; for 
songs, satires, and epigrams, I have a parcel pro- 
perly corresponding to those departments. A column 
is subjoined, shewing the number of feet whereof 
they consist, that being a requisite chiefly to be at- 
tended to, in names destined for the purposes of po- 
etry. Some of them indeed, are so happUy contrived* 


that, by means of an easy and natural contraction, 
they can be shortened, or lengthened (like a pocket- 
telescope), according to the structure of the line in 
which they are to be introduced ; others, by the as- 
sistance of proper interjections, are ready made into 
smooth' flowing hexameters, and will be found ex- 
tremely useful, particularly to our writers of tragedy. 
All these, Sir, the fruits of several years labour 
aild industry, I am ready to communicate for an ade- 
quate consideration, to authors, or other persons 
whom they may suit. Be pleased, therefore, to in- 
form your correspondents, that, by applying to your 
publisher, they may be informed, in the language of 
Falstaff, " where a commodity of good names is to 
" be bought." As for your own particular, Sir, I 
am ready to attend you gratis, at any time you may 
stand in need of my assistance ; or you may write 
out your papers blank, and send them to me to fill 
up the names of the parties. 

I am yours, Sec. 


To Correspondents. 

" The editor has to return thanks to numberless 
correspondents for their favours lately received ; he 
begs leave, at the same time, to acquaint them, that 
as many inconveniencies would arise from a particu- 
lar acknowledgment of every letter, he must hence- 
forward be excused from making it; they may, how- 
ever, rest assured of the strictest attention and im- 
partiality in regard to their communications. — As to 
the insertion of papers sent him, he will be allowed 
to suggest, that, from the nature of his publication, 
the acceptance or refusal of an essay is no criterion 
of its merit, nor of the opinion in which it is held by 
the editor. A performance may be improper for the 
Mirror, as often on account of its rising above, as 


of its falling below the level of such a work, which 
is peculiarly circumscribed, not only in its subjects, 
but in the manner of treating them. The same cir- 
cumstance will often render it necessary to alter or 
abridge the productions of correspondents ; a liberty 
for which the editor hopes their indulgence, and 
which he will use with the utmost caution." 


Inspicere tanquam in speculum 

Vkus omnium jubeo. Tbr. 

IT was with regret that the editor found himself 
under the necessity of abridging the following letter, 
communicated by an unknown correspondent. 

To the Editor of the Mirror. 
AS I was walking one afternoon, about thirty years 
ago, by the Egyptian side of the Red Sea, in the 
neighbourhood of Babelmandel, I accidentally met 
with a Dervise. How we forthwith commenced ac- 
quaintance ; how I went with him to his hermitage ; 
how our acquaintance improved into intimacy, and 
our intimacy into friendship ; how we conversed about 
every thing, both in heaven above, and in the earth 
beneath ; how the Dervise fell sick, and how I, hav- 
ing some skill in medicine, administered to his reco- 
very ; how this strengthened his former regard by 
the additional tie of gratitude ; how, after a space, 
I tired of wa Iking by the Red Sea in the neighbour- 
hood of Babelmandel, and fancied I should walk with 
more security and satisfaction by the side of Forth ; 


are circumstances, that, after you shall be more in- 
terested in my life and conversation, I may venture 
lo lay before you. 

In the mean while, suffice it to say, that my part- 
ing with the Dervise was very tender ; and that, as 
a memorial of his friendship, he presented me with 
a mirror. I confess frankly, that considering the 
poverty of my friend, and his unaffected manner cf 
offering it, I supposed his present of little intrinsic 
value. Yet, looking at it, and wishing to seem as 
sensible of its worth as possible, " This," " said I, 
may be a very useful mirror. " As it is of a con- 
" venient size, I may carry it in my pocket ; and, 
" if I should happen to be in a public company, it 
u may enable me to wipe from my face any acci- 
*' dental dust, or to adjust the posture of my peri- 
" wig." For, Sir, at that time, in order to command 
some respect among the Mussulmen, I wore a peri- 
wig of three tails. 

" That mirror," said the Dervise, looking at me 
with great earnestness, " is of higher value than 
" you suppose : and of this, by the following account 
" of its nature and uses, I am sure you will be fully 
" satisfied. Of mirrors, some are convex, and re- 
" present their object of a size considerably dimi- 
" nished : accordingly, the images they display are 
" extremely beautiful. A company of people repre- 
" sented by this mirror shall appear without spot or 
u blemish, like a company of lovely Sylphs. Now, 
" my good Christian friend, mine is not a convex 
* ; mirror. Neither is it concave : for concave mir- 
" rors have just an opposite effect ; and, by enlarg- 
" ing the object they represent, would render even 
" the Houri in Paradise as hideous as the witch of 
M Endoiyor a Pagan fury. In short, it is a good 
M plain mirror, intended to represent things just as 
" they are, but with properties and varieties not to 
M be met with in common {jlass,'' 

36 TttE MIRROR. 

" Whenever," continued he, " you entertain any 
" doubt concerning the propriety of your conduct, 
" or have apprehensions that your motives arc not 
" exactly what you conceive, or wish them to be, I 
" advise you forthwith to consult the mirror. You 
" will there see yourself without disguise ; and be 
" enabled, not merely to wipe from your face any 
" accidental dust, or to adjust your periwig of three 
" tails, but to rectify your conduct, and adjust your 
" deportment/* In truth, Sir, 1 have made this ex- 
periment, according to the direction of the Dervise, 
so oiun, and with such small satisfaction to myself, 
that I am heartily sick of it, 1 have consulted my 
mirror in the act of giving alms, expecting, no doubt, 
to see myself charactered with the softest compas- 
sion, and, behold 1 I was swollen and bloated with 
ostentation. Glowing with indignation, as 1 conceiv- 
ed, against the vices of mankind, and their blindness 
to real merit, I have looked in the mirror, and seen 
the redness of anger, the flushings of disappointed 
ambition. Very lately, a' friend of mine read me an 
essay he had written ; he seemed to me somewhat 
conscious of its merit : he expected, and was intitled 
to some applaur.e ; but, said I to myself, " I will ad- 
" minister to no man's vanity, nor expose my friend 
" by encouraging self-conceit ;" and so observed an 
ojtetmate unyielding silence. I looked in the mirror, 
and am ashamed to tell yen my motive was not so 

But, instead of exposing my own infirmities, I 
will, in perfect consistency with some of the most 
powerful principles in our nature, and in a manner 
much less exceptionable to myself, explain the pro- 
perties of my mirror, by the views it gives me of 
other men. 

" Whenever," continued the Dervise, " you have 
" any doubt concerning the conduct of another per- 
" son, take an opportunity, and, when he is least 


u aware, catch a copy of his face in your mirror." 
It would do your heart good, Sir, if you delight in 
that species of moral criticism which some people 
denominate scandal, to see the discoveries 1 have 
made. Many a grave physician have I seen laying 
his head to one side, hxing his solemn eye on the 
far corner of a room, or poring with steady gaze on 
his watch, and seeming to count the beats of his pa- 
tient's pulse, when, in fact, he was numbering in 
his own mind the guineas accruing from his circle of 
morning visits, or studying what fine speech he should 
make to my lady duchess ; or, if patient were a fair 
patient — But here I would look no longer. 

I have often carried my mirror to church ; and, 
sitting in a snug corner, have catched the flaming 
orator of the pulpit in many a rare grimace, and ex- 
pressive gesture ; expressive, not of humility, but 
of pride ; not of any desire to communicate instruc- 
tion, but to procure applause ; not to explain the gos- 
pel, but to exhibit the preacher. 

" This mirror," said the Mussulman, continuing 
his valedictory speech, " will not only display your 
" acquaintance as they really are, but as they wish 
" to be : and, for this purpose," shewing me the 
way, " you have only to hold it in a particular posi- 
" tion." From the use of the mirror, holding it as 
the Dervise desired me, I confess I have received 
special amusement. How many persons hideously 
deformed have appeared most divinely beautiful ; how 
many dull fellows have become amazing clever ; how 
many shrivelled cheeks have suddenly claimed a 
youthful bloom ! Yet, I must confess, Low surprising 
soever the confession may appear, that I have found 
mankind, in general, very well satisfied with their 
talents : and, as for as regards moral and religious 
improvement, I recollect very few instances of per- 
sons who wished for changes in their present con- 
dition. On the contrary, I have met with other ex- 


amples ; and have seen persons not a little solicitous 
to acquire the use of some fashionable impieties and 
immoralities. I have seen delicate females, to say- 
nothing of dainty gentlemen, wishing to forget their 
catechism ; striving to overcome their reluctances, 
and meditating in their own minds the utterance of 
some fashionable piece of raillery against religion ; 
yet, like the amen of Macbeth, I have often seen it 
stick in their throat. 

" But,'* continued the Dervise, " if you hold this 
11 mirror in a fit posture, it will not only shew you 
" men as they are, or as they wish to be, but with 
" the talents, with which they reckon themselves r^- 
" tually possessed ; and in that very character or si- 
« tuation which they hold most suited to their abili- 
<« ties. Now this property of the Mussulman's 
mirror has given me more amusement than any other. 
By this means I have seen a whole company undergo 
instantaneous and strange transformation. I have 
seen the unwieldy burgess changed into a slender 
gentleman ; the deep philosopher become a man of the 
world ; the laborious merchant converted into a fox- 
hunter ; the mechanic's wife in the guise of a coun- 
tess ; and the pert scrivener become a cropped en- 
sign. I have seen those grave personages, whom 
you may observe daily issuing from their alleys at 
noon with white wigs, black coats buttoned, and in- 
clining to gray, with a cane in one hand, and the 
ether stationed at their side-pocket, beating the streets 
for political intelligence, and diving afterwards into 
their native lanes, or rising in a coffee-house in the 
full dignity of a spectacled nose ; I have seen them 
moving in my mirror in the shape of statesmen, mi- 
nisters at foreign courts, chancellors of England, 
judges, justices of the peace, or chief magistrates 
in electing boroughs. 

Now, Sir, as you have engaged in the important 
business of instructing the public, I reckon you a 


much fitter person than me to be possessed of this 
precious mirror. By these presents, therefore, along 
with a paper of direction s r I consign it into your hands. 
All that I demand of you in return, is to use this 
extraordinary gift in a proper and becoming manner; 
for, like every other excellent gift, it is liable to be 
misused. Therefore be circumspect ; nor let any 
person say of you, that you make use of a false glass, 
or that the reflection is not just, or that the represen- 
tation is partial ; or, lastly, that it exhibits broken, 
distorted, or unnatural images. In full confidence 
thaf it will be an instrument in your hands for the 
most useful purposes, 

I am, Sir, 

Your obedient servant, 



To the Author of the Mirror. 


SOME weeks ago I was called from my retreat in 
the country, where I have passed the last twenty 
years in the enjoyment of ease and tranquillity, by 
an important family-concern which made it necessary 
for me to come to town. 

Last Thursday I was solicited by an old friend to 
accompany him to the playhouse, to see the tragedy 
of King Lear ; and, by way of inducement, he told 
me, the part of Lear was to be performed by an ac- 
tor who had studied the character under the English 
Roscius, and was supposed to play it somewhat in 
the manner of that great master. As the theatre 

▼ol. i. e 


had always been my favourite amusement, I did not 
long withstand the entreaties of my friend; and, when 
I reflected that Mr. Garrick was now gone to " that 
M undiscovered country, from whose bourn no tra- 
u veller returns," I felt a sort of tender desire to 
see even a copy of that great original, from whose 
performances I had often, in the earlier part of my 
life, received such exquisite pleasure. 

As we understood the house was to be crowded, 
we went at an early hour, and seated ourselves in the 
middle of the pit, so as not only to see the play to 
advantage, but also to have a full view of the" au- 
dience, which, I have often thought, is not the least 
pleasing part of a public entertainment. When the 
boxes began to fill, I felt a secret satisfaction in con- 
templating the beauties of the present times, and 
amused myself with tracing in the daughters, those 
features which, in the mothers and grandmothers, 
had charmed me so often. 

My friend pointed out to me, in different parts of 
the house, some of the reigning toasts of our times, 
but so changed, that, without, his assistance, I never 
should have been able to find them out. I looked 
in vain for that form, that complexion, and those 
numberless graces, on which I had been accustomed 
to gaze with admiration. But this change was not 
more remarkable, than the effect it had upon the 
beholders ; and I could not help thinking the silent 
neglect with which those once celebrated beauties 
were now treated, by much too severe a punishment 
for that pride and haughtiness they had formerly as- 

Whilst 1 was amusing myself in this manner, I 
observed, that some of the upper-boxes were filled 
with ladies, whose appearance scon convinced mc 
that they were of an order of females more desirous 
of being distinguished for beauty than for virtue. I 
could not refrain from expressing some disgust at see- 


ing those unfortunate creatures sitting thus openly 
mingled with women of the first rank and fashion. 
" Poh I" said my friend, " that is thought nothing 
" of now-a-days; and every body seems to be of the 
u same opinion with the celebrated Countess of Dor- 
" Chester, mistress of King James II. who having 
u seated herself on the same bench with a lady of 
" rigid virtue, the other immediately shrunk back, 
" which the countess observing, said with a smile, 
" don't be afraid, Madam ; gallantry is not catching/* 

As I was going to reprove my friend for talking 
with such levity of a matter that seemed to be of so 
serious a nature, the curtain drew up, and the play 
began. It is not my design, Sir, to trouble you with 
any remarks on the performance ; the purpose of 
this letter is to request of you to take some notice 
of a species of indecorum, that appeared altogether 
new to me, and which, I confess, it hurt me to ob- 

Before the end of the first act, a number of young 
men came in, and took their places in the upper 
boxes, amidst those unhappy females I have already 
mentioned. I concluded that these persons were as 
destitute of any pretension to birth and fashion, as 
they were void of decency of manners ; but 1 was 
equally surprised and mortified to find, that many of 
them were of the first families of the kingdom. You, 
Sir, who have lived in the world, and seen the gra- 
dual and almost imperceptible progress of manners, 
will not, perhaps, be able to judge of my astonish- 
ment, when I beheld these very gentlemen quit their 
seats, and come down to pay their respects to the 
ladies in the lower boxes. The gross impropriety of 
this behaviour raised in me a degree of indignation 
which I could not, without difficulty, restrain. I com- 
forted myself, however, with the hopes,, that those 
unthinking youths would meet with such a reception 
from the women of honour, as would effectually check 


this indecency ; but I am sorry to add, that I could 
not discern, either in their looks or manner, those 
marks of disapprobation which I had made my ac- 
count with perceiving. Both the old and the young, 
the mothers and the daughters, seemed rather pleased 
when these young men of rank and fortune approach- 
ed them. I am persuaded, at the same time, that, 
were they to think but for a moment of the conse- 
quences, they would be sensible of the impropriety 
of their behaviour in this particular. I must, there- 
fore intreat of you, Sir, to take the earliest oppor- 
tunity in giving your sentiments on the subject. I 
am, &c. 

A. W. 

The complaints of my correspondent are not with-* 
out reason. The boundaries betwixt virtue and vice 
cannot be too religiously maintained ; and every thing 
that tends to lessen, in any degree, the respect due 
to a woman of honour, ought ever to be guarded 
against with the utmost caution. 

When I was in France, I observed a propriety of 
behaviour in the particular mentioned by Mr. A. W. 
that pleased me much. Even in that country, looso 
as we imagine the manners ihere to be, no body who 
wishes to preserve the character of a well-bred gen- 
tleman is ever seen at a place of public resort, in 
company with those misguided fair-ones, who, how- 
ever much they may be objects of pity and compas- 
sion, have forfeited all title to respect and esteem. 
I would recommend to our young men to follow, in 
this, the example of our neighbours, whom they are 
so ready to imitate in less laudable instances. To 
consider it only in this view, there is certainly no 
greater breach of politeness than that which has 
given occasion to this letter. In other respects, the 
consequences are truly alarming. When every dis- 
tinction is removed between the woman of virtue and 

*8E MlRJtOl. 43 

the prostitute ; when both are treated with equal 
attention and observance ; are we to wonder if we 
find an alteration of the manners of women in general, 
and a proportional diminution of that delicacy which 
forms the distinguishing characteristic of the respect- 
able part of the sex ? 

These considerations will, I hope, prove sufficient 
to correct this abuse in our young gentlemen. As 
to my fair country-women, it is ever with reluctance 
that I am obliged to take notice of any little impro- 
priety into which they inadvertently fall. Let them, 
however, reflect, that a certain delicacy of sentiment 
and of manners is the chief ornament of the female 
character, and the best and surest guardian of female 
honour. That once removed, there will remain, in 
the opinion of the world, less difference than perhaps 
they may be aware of, between them and the avow- 
edly licentious. Let them also consider, that, as it 
is unquestionably in their power to form and correct 
the manners of the men, so they are, in some sort, 
accountable, not for their own conduct only, but also 
for that of their admirers. 

To the Juthoj' of the Mirror. 

I DO not mean to reflect, Mr. Mirror ; for that 
is your business, not mine ; far less do I purpose to 
pun, when I told you, that it might save some reflec- 
tions upon yourself, did you take the trouble to trans- 
late into good common English, those same Latin 
scraps, or mottos, which you sometimes hang out by 
way of sign-post inscription, at the top of your paper. 
For, consider, Sir, who will be tempted to enter a 
house of entertainment offered to the public, when 
the majority can neither read nor understand the lan- 
guage in which the bill of fare is drawn and held 
out ? I am a Scotsman of a good plain stomach, who 
ean eat and digest any thing ; yet would I like t» 
£ 2 

44 TtfE Mirror. 

have a guess at what was to be expected before I sit 
down to table. Besides, the fair-sex, Mr. Mirror, 
for whom you express so much respect, — What shall 
they do ? Believe me, then, Sir, by complying with 
this hint, you will not only please the ladies, but now 
and then save a blush in their company to some 
grown gentlemen, who have not the good fortune to 
be so learned as yourself. Amongst the rest, you 
will oblige one who has the honour to be 

Your admirer and humble servant, 

Edinburgh, Feb. 19, 1779. 

Mr. Ignoramus (whom I take to be a wiser man 
than he gives himself out for) must have often ob- 
served many great personages contrive to be unin- 
telligible in order to be respected. 



■Id arbitror 

Adprime in vita esse utile, ne quid nimis. TtR. 

REFINEMENT, and delicacy of taste, are the 
productions of advanced society. They open to the 
mind of persons possessed of them a field of elegant 
enjoyment ; but they may be pushed to a dangerous 
Extreme. By that excess of sensibility to which they 
lead ; by that vanity which they flatter ; that idea of 
superiority which they nourish ; they may unfit their 
possessor for the common and ordinary enjoyments 
of life ; and, by that over-niceness which they are apt 
to create, they may mingle somewhat of disgust and 
uneasiness, even in the highest and finest pleasures. 


A person of such a mind will often miss happiness 
where .nature intended it should be found, and seek 
for it where it is not to be met with. Disgust and 
chagrin will frequently be his companions, while fcess 
cultivated minds are enjoying pleasure unmixed and 

I have ever considered my friend Charles Fleet- 
wood to be a remarkable instance of such a charac- 
ter. Mr. Fleetwood has been endowed by nature 
with a most feeling and tender heart. Educated to 
no particular profession, his natural sensibility has 
been increased by a life of inactivity, chiefly employed 
in reading, and the study of the polite arts, which has 
given him that excess of refinement I have described 
above, that injures while it captivates. 

Last summer I accompanied him in an excursion 
into the country. Our object was partly air and ex- 
ercise, and partly to pay a visit to some of our friends. 

Our first visit was to a college-acquaintance, re- 
markable for that old-fashioned hospitality which still 
prevails in some parts of the country, and which too 
often degenerates into excess. Unfortunately for us, 
we found with our friend a number of his jovial com- 
panions, whose object of entertainment was very dif- 
ferent from ours. Instead of wishing to enjoy the 
pleasures of the country, they expressed their satis- 
faction at the meeting of so many old acquaintance ; 
because, they said, it would add to the mirth and 
sociality of the party. Accordingly, after a long, and 
somewhat noisy dinner, the table was covered with 
bottles and glasses : the mirth of the company rose 
higher at every new toast ; and, though their drinking 
did not proceed quite the length of intoxication, the 
convivial festivity was drawn out, with very little in- 
termission, till it was time to go to bed. Mr. Fleet- 
wood's politeness prevented him from leaving the 
company ; but I, who knew him, saw he was inwardly 
fretted at the manner in which his time was spent 


during a fine evening-, in one of the most beautiful 
parts of the country. The mirth of the company* 
winch was at least innocent, was lost upon him : their 
jokes hardly produced a smile ; or, if they did, it was 
a forced one : even the good humour of those around 
him,^nstead of awakening his benevolence, and giv- 
ing- him a philanthrcpical pleasure, increased his 
chagrin ; and the louder the company laughed, the 
graver did I think, Mr. Fleetwood's countenance 

After having remained here two days, our time 
being spent pretty much in the manner I have de- 
scribed, we went to the house of another gentleman 
in the neighbourhood. A natural soberness of mind, 
accompanied with a habit of industry, and great at- 
tention to the management of his farm, would save 
us, we knew, from any thing like riot or intemperance 
in his family. But even here I found Mr. Fleetwood 
not a whit more at his ease than in the 'last house. 
Our landlord's ideas of politeness made him think it 
would be want of respect to his guests if he did not 
give them constant attendance. Breakfast, there- 
fore, was no sooner removed, than, as he wished to 
visit his farm, he proposed a walk : we set out ac- 
cordingly ; and our whole morning was spent in cros- 
sing dirty fields ; leaping ditches and hedges, and 
hearing our landlord discourse on drilling and horse 
hoeing ; of broadcast and summer-fallow ; of ma»ur- 
ing, plowing, draining, Sec. Mr. Fleetwood, who had 
scarcely ever read a theoretical book upon farming, 
and was totally ignorant of the practice, was teazed 
to death with this conversation ; and returned home, 
covered with dirt, and worn out with fatigue. After 
dinner, the family economy did not allow the least 
approach to a debauch ; and, as our landlord had ex- 
hausted his utmost stock of knowledge and conver- 
sation in remarks upon his farm, while we were not 
at all desirous of repeating the entertainment of the 


morning-, we passed a tasteless, lifeless, yawning af- 
ternoon ; and, I believe, Mr. Fleetwood would have 
willing-ly exchanged the dullness of his present com- 
pany for the boisterous mirth of the last he had 
been in. 

Our next visit was to a gentleman of a liberal edu- 
cation, and elegant manners, who, in the earlier part 
of his life, had been much in the polite world. Here 
Mr. Fleetwood expected to find pleasure and enjoy- 
ment sufficient to atone for the disagreeable occur- 
rences in his two former visits ; but here, too, he was 
disappointed. Mr. Selby, for that was our friend's 
name, had been several years married ; his family 
increasing, he had retired to the country ; and, re- 
nouncing the bustle cf the world, had given himself 
up to domestic enjoyments : his time and attention 
were devoted chiefly to the care of his children. The 
pleasure which himself felt in humouring all their 
little fancies, made him forget how troublesome that 
indulgence might be to others. The first morning 
we were at his house, when Mr. Fleetwood came into 
the parlour to breakfast, all the places at table were 
occupied by the children ; it was necessary that one 
of them should be displaced to make room for him ; 
and, in the disturbance which V lis occasioned, a tea 
cup was overturned* and scalded the finger of Mr. 
Sdby's eldest daughter, a child about seven years old, 
whose whimpering and complaining attracted the 
whole attention during breakfast. That being over, 
the eldest boy came forward with a book in his hand, 
and Mr. Selby asked Mr. Fleetwood to hear him read 
his lesson : Mrs. Selby joined in the request, though 
both looked as if they were rather conferring a fa- 
vour on their guest. The ekkst had no sooner finish- 
ed, than the youngest boy presented himself; upon 
which his father observed, that it would be doing in- 
justice to Will not to hear him, as well as his elder 
brother Jack j and in this way was my friend obliged 


to spend the morning, in performing the office of a 
schoolmaster to the children in succession. 

Mr. Fleetwood liked a game at whist, and promised 
himself a party in the evening, free from interrup- 
tion. Cards were accordingly proposed ; but Mrs. 
Selby observed, that her little daughter, who still 
complained of her scalded finger, needed amusement 
as much as any of the company. In place of cards, 
Miss Harriet insisted on the game of the goose. 
Down to it we sat ; and to a stranger it would have 
been not unamusing to see Mr. Fleetwood, in his sor- 
rowful countenance, at the royal and pleasant game 
of the goose, with a child of seven years old. It is 
unnecessary to dwell longer on particulars. During 
all the time we were at Mr. Selby's, the delighted 
parents were indulging their fondness, while Mr. 
Fleetwood was repining and fretting in secret. 

Having finished our intended round of visits, we 
turned our course homewards, and, at the first inn 
on our road, were joined by one Mr. Johnson, with 
whom I was slightly acquainted. Politeness would 
not allow me to reject the offer of his company, 
especially as I knew him to be a good-natured inof- 
fensive man. Our road lay through a glen, romantic 
and picturesque, which we reached soon after sun- 
set, in a mild and still evening. On each side were 
stupendous mountains ; their height ; the rude and 
projecting rocks, of which some of them were com- 
posed ; the gloomy caverns they seemed to contain ; 
and the appearance of devastation, occasioned by 
traces of cataracts falling from their tops, presented 
to our view a scene truly sublime. Mr. Fleetwood 
felt an unusual elevation of spirit. Flis soul rose 
within him, and was swelled with that silent awe, so 
well suited to his contemplative mind. In the words 
of the poet, he could have said, 

Congenial horrors, hail ! 


jt Welcome kindred glooms, 

Be these my theme. 

•' These that exalt the soul to solemn thought, 
»* And heavenly musing !" 

Our silence had now continued for about a quarter 
of an hour ; and an unusual stillness prevailed around 
us, interrupted only by the tread of our horses, which, 
returning at stated intervals, assisted by the echo of 
the mountains, formed a hollow sound, which in 
creased the solemnity of the scene. Mr. Johnson, 
tiring of this silence, and not having the least com- 
prehension of its cause, all at once, and without 
warning, lifted up his voice, and began the song of 
M Push about the Joram." Mr. Fleetwood's soul 
was then wound up to its utmost height. At the 
sound of Mr. Johnson's voice he started, and viewed 
him with a look of horror, mixed with contempt. 
During the rest of our journey, I could hardly pre- 
vail on my friend to be civil to him ; and though he 
is, in every respect, a worthy and a good-natured 
man, and though Mr. Fleetwood and he have often 
met since, the former has never been able to look 
upon him without disgust. 

Mr. Fleetwood's entertainment in this short tour 
has produced, in my mind, many reflections, in which 
I doubt not I shall be anticipated by my readers. 

There are few situations in life, from which a man, 
who has confined his turn for enjoyment within the 
bounds pointed out by nature, will not receive satis- 
faction ; but, if we once transgress those bounds, 
and seeking after too much refinement, indulge a 
false and mistaken delicacy, there is hardly a situa- 
tion in which we will not be exposed to disappoint- 
ment and disgust. 

Had it not been fer this false, this dangerous deli- 
cacy, Mr. Fleetwood, instead of uneasiness, would 


have received pleasure from every visit we made, 
from every incident we met with. 

At the first house to which we went, it was not 
necessary that he should have preferred the hottle to 
the enjoyment of a fine evening in the country ; but 
that not being the sentiments of the company, had 
he, without repining, given up his taste to theirs, 
instead of feeling disgust at what appeared to him 
coarse in their enjoyments, he would have felt plea- 
sure at the mirth and good humour which prevailed 
around him ; and the very reflection, that different 
employments gave amusement to different men, 
would have afforded a lirely and philanthrope cal satis- 

It was scarcely to be expected, that the barrenness 
and dryness of the conversation at our second visit, 
could fill up, or entirely satisfy the delicate and im- 
proved mind of Mr. Fleetwood ; but had he not laid 
it down almost as a rule, not to be pleased with any 
thing, except what suited his own idea of enjoyment,, 
he might, and ought to have received pleasure from 
the sight of a worthy family, spending their time 
innocently, happily, and usefully ; usefully, both to 
themselves and to their country. 

It was owing to the same false sensibility, that he 
was so muclv chagrined in the family of Mr. Selby. 
The fond indulgence of the parents did perhaps, 
carry their attention to their children beyond the rules 
of propriety ; but, had it not been for this finicalness 
of mind in Mr. Fleetwood, had he given the natural 
benevolence of his heart its play, he would have re- 
ceived a pleasure from witnessing the happiness of 
two virtuous parents in their rising offspring, that 
would have much overbalanced any uneasiness arising 
from the errors in their conduct. 

Neither, but for this excessive refinement, would 
Mr. Fleetwood have been hurt by the behaviour of 
Mr. Johnson. Though he might not have consider- 


cd him as a man of taste, he would, nevertheless, 
have regarded him as a good and inoffensive man ; 
and he would have received pleasure from the re- 
flection, that neither their goodness nor happiness 
are confined to those minds which are fitted for feel- 
ing and enjoying all the pleasures of nature or of 


SINCE the commencement of the late levies, I 
understand that not only drill Serjeants have had daily 
access to the lobbies and parlours of many decent and 
peaceable houses in this metropolis, but that profes- 
sors of the noble science of defence have been so 
constantly occupied in attending grown gentlemen, 
and ungrown officers, that their former scholars have 
found great difficulty in procuring masters to push 
with them, and have frequently been obliged to have 
recourse to the less-edifying opposition of one ano- 

The purpose of the Serjeant's instructions, every lov- 
er of his country must approve. The last-mentioned 
art, that of fencing, I formerly took great delight in 
myself, and still account one of the healthiest of all 
house-exercises, insomuch that, when I am in the 
country, where I make it a rule to spend a certain 
part of every day in exercise of some kind, I gene- 
rally take up my foil in rainy mornings, and push 
with great success against the figure of Herod, in a 
piece of old arras that was taken down from my 
grandmother's room, and is now pasted up on the 
wall of the laundry. 

▼ OL. I. F 


When those two sciences, however, go upon ac- 
tual service, they are to be considered in different 
lights. That of the Serjeant, as it teaches a man to 
stand well on his legs, to carry his body firm, and to 
move it alertly, is much the same as the fencing 
master's ; but in their last stage they depart some- 
what from each other : the Serjeant proposes to qua- 
lify a man for encountering his enemy in battle, the 
other to fit him for meeting his companion, or friend 
it may be, in a duel. 

My readers will, I hope, give me credit for the 
Mirror being always a very polite paper ; 1 am not, 
therefore, at all disposed to bestow on a practice so 
gentleman-like as duelling, those severe reprehen- 
sions, equally trite and unjust, in which some of my 
predecessors have indulged themselves. During my 
residence abroad, I was made perfectly acquainted 
with the arguments drawn in its favour, from the in- 
fluence it has on the manners of the gentleman, and 
the honour of the soldier. It is my intention only to 
point out those bounds within which the most punc- 
tilious valour may be contented to restrain itself; 
and in this I shall be the more guarded, as I mean 
the present paper principally for the use of the new- 
raised regiments above alluded to, whose honour I 
dearly prize, and would preserve as scrupulously in- 
violate as possible. I hold such an essay peculiarly 
proper at this juncture, when some of them are 
about to embark on long voyages, in which even 
good-natured people, being tacked together like man 
and wife, are somewhat apt to grow peevish and 

In the first place, I will make one general obser- 
vation, that, at this busy time, when our country has 
need of men, lives are of more value to the com- 
munity than at other periods. In time of peace, so 
many regiments are reduced, and the duties of an 
officer so easily performed, that if one fall, and ano- 


ther be hanged for killing him, there will speedily be 
found two proper young men ready to mount guard, 
and shew a good leg on the parade, in their room. 
But, at present, from the great increase ot the esta- 
blishment, there is rather a scarcity, in proportion 
to the demand of men of military talents, and military 
figure, especially when we consider that the war is 
now to be carried on against so genteel a people as 
the French, to whom it will be necessary to shew 
officers of the most soldier-like appearance and ad- 

This patriotic consideration will tend to relax the 
etiquette formerly established, for every officer to 
fight a duel within a few weeks of the date of his 
commission, and that, too, without the purpose of 
resenting any affront, or vindicating his honour from 
any aspersion, but merely to shew that he could 
fight. Now, this practice, being unnecessary at pre- 
sent, as preferment goes on briskly enough by the 
fall of officers in the course of their duty, may very 
properly, and without disparagement to the valour 
of the British army, be dispensed with ; so, it is to 
be agreed and understood, that every officer in the 
new-raised regiments, whose commission bears date 
on or posterior to the 1st of January, 1778, is ifiso 
facto, to be held and deemed of unquestionable cou- 
rage and immaculate honour. 

As to the measure of affront which may justify a 
challenge, it is to be remembered, that the officers 
of the above mentioned corps have been obliged, in 
levying their respectire quotas, to engage in scenes 
of a very particular kind ; at markets, fairs, country- 
weddings, and city-brawls, amongst a set of men 
and women not remarkable for delicacy of language 
or politeness of behaviour. We are not, therefore, 
to wonder if the smooth enamel of the gentleman has 
received some little injury from the collision of such 
coarse materials ; and a certain time may fairlv be 


allowed for unlearning the blunt manners and rough 
phraseology which an officer in such situations was 
forced to assume. Therefore the identical words 
which, a campaign or two hence, are to be held ex- 
piable only by blood, may, at present, be done away 
by an explanation ; and those which an officer must 
then explain and account for, at peril of a challenge, 
are now to be considered as mere colloquial expletives, 
acquired by associating with such company as fre- 
quent the places above described. 

As, notwithstanding all these allowances, some 
duels may be expected to take place, it is proper to 
mention certain regulations for the conduct of the 
parties, in the construction of which I have paid in- 
iinitely more regard to their honour than to their 

In fighting with the sword, a blow, or the lie di- 
rect, can scarcely be expiated but by a thrust through 
the body ; but any lesser affront may be wiped off by 
a wound in the sword-arm ; or, if the injury be 
very slight, any wound will be sufficient. In all 
this, it is to be noted,^ that the receiving of such 
wound by either party constitutes a reparation for the 
affront ; as it is a rule of justice peculiar to the code 
of duelling, that the blood of the injured atones for 
the offence he has received, as well as that of the 
injurer for the offence he lias given. 

In affairs decided with pistols, the distance is, in 
like manner, to be regulated by the nature of the 
injury. For those of an atrocious sort, a distance 
of only twenty feet, and pistols of nine, nine and a 
half, or ten inch barrels, are requisite ; for slighter 
ones, the distance may be doubled, and a six, or 
even five inch barrel will"serve. Regard, moreover, 
is to be had to the size of the persons engaged ; for 
every stone above eleven, the party of such weight 
may, with perfect honor, retire three feet. 

I read, some time ago, certain addresses to the 


Jockey Club, by two gentlemen who had been en- 
gaged in an affair of honor, from which it appeared 
that one of them had systematized the art of duel- 
ling to a wonderful degree. Among other things, he 
had brought his aim with a pistol to so much cer- 
tainty, and made such improvements on the weapon, 
that he could lay a hundred guineas to ten on hit- 
ting, at a considerable distance, any part of his ad- 
versary's body. These arts, however, I by no 
means approve : they resemble, methinks, a loaded 
die, or a packed deal ; and I am inclined to be of 
opinion, that a gentleman is no more obliged to 
fight against the first, than to play against the latter. 
They may, in the mildest construction, be compar- 
ed to the sure play of a man who can take every 
ball at billiards ; and therefore, if it shall be judged 
that an ordinary marksman must fight with the per- 
son possessed of them, he is, at least, intitled to 
odds, and must be allowed three shots to one of his 

I have thus, with some labour, and I hope strict 
honor, settled certain articles in the matter of duel- 
ling, for such of my readers as may have occasion 
for them. It is but candid, however, to own, that 
there have been, now and then, brilliant things done 
quite without the line of my directions, to wit, by 

not fighting at all. The Abbe . with whom I 

was disputing at Paris on this subject, concluded his 
arguments against duelling with a story, which, 
though I did not think it much to the purpose, was 
a tolerable story notwithstanding. I shall give it in 
the very words of the Abbe. 

" A countryman of yours, a Captain Douglas, 
" was playing at trictrac, with a very intimate 
" friend, here in this very coffee-house, amidst a 
" a circle of French officers who were looking on. 
" Some dispute arising about a cast of the dice, 
" Douglas said, in a gay thoughtless manner, "oh! 
r 2 


" what a story 1" A murmur arose among the by- 
" standers : and his antagonist feeling the affront, 
" as if the lie had been given him, in the violence 
" of his passion, snatched up the tables, and hit 
" Douglas a blow on the head. The instant he had 
" done it, the idea of his imprudence, and its pro- 
u bable consequences to himself and his friend, 
" rushed upon his mind : he sat, stupified with 
u shame and remorse, his eyes rivetted on the 
" ground, regardless of what the other's resent- 
" ment might prompt him to act. Douglas, after a 
" short pause, turned round to the spectators : 
" You think," said he, " that I am now ready to 
" cut the throat of that unfortunate young man ; 
" but I know that, at this moment, he feels anguish 
" a thousand times more keen than any my sword 

* could inflict — I will embrace him — thus — and try 
" to reconcile him to himself ; — but I will cut the 

* throat of that man among you who shall dare to 
" breathe a syllable against my honour." " Bravo ! 
" Bravo !" cried an old Chevalier de St. Louis, who 
" stood immediately behind him : — The sentiment 

* of France overcame its habit, and bravo ! bravo '. 
" echoed from every corner of the room. Who 
u would not have cried bravo ! Would not you, Sir ? 
u Doubtless." " On other occasions, then, be go- 
w verned by the same principle." " Why to be 
" sure, it were often better not to fight — if one had 

* but the courage not to fight." 




To the Author of the Mirror, 


I AM am a plain country-gentleman, with a small 
fortune, and a large family. My boys, all except 
the youngest, I have contrived to set out into the 
world in tolerably promising situations. My two 
eldest girls are married ; one to a clergyman with a 
very comfortable living, and a respectable charac- 
ter ; ihe other to a neighbour of my own, who 
farms most of his own estate, and is supposed to 
know country-business as well as any man in this 
part of the kingdom. I have four other girls at 
home, whom I wish to make fit wives for men of 
equal rank with their brothers-in-law. 

About three months ago, a great lady in our 
neighbourhood, (at least as neighbourhood is reckon- 
ed in our quarter,) happened to meet the two eldest 
of my unmarried daughters at the house of a gen- 
tleman, a distant relation of mine, and, as well as 
myself, a freeholder in our county. The girls are 
tolerably handsome, and I have endeavoured to make 
them understand the common rules of good-breed- 
ing. My Lady ran out to my kinsman, who 

happens to have no children of his own, in praise of 
their beauty and politeness, and, at parting, gave 
them a most pressing invitation to come and spend 
a week with her during the approaching Christmas 
holidays. On my daughters' return from their kins- 
man's, I was not altogether pleased at hearing of 
this invitation ; nor was I more satisfied with the 
very frequent quotations of my Lady ■ 's say- 

ings, and sentiments, and the descriptions of the 
beauty of her complexion, the elegance of her dress, 
and the grandeur of her equipage. I opposed, there- 


fore, their design of paying this Christmas visit pret- 
ty warmly. Upon this the honour done them by the 
invitation, the advantages to be derived from an ac- 
quaintance with the great Lady ; and the benefit that 
might accrue to my family from the influence of her 
Lord, were immediately rung in my ears, not only 
by my daughters, but also by their mother, whom 
they had already gained over to their side ; and, I 
must own to you, Mr. Mirror, though I would not 
have you think me hen-pecked, that my wife, some- 
how or other, contrives to carry most points in our 
family ; so my opposition was over-ruled, and to 

— the girls went ; but not before they had 

made a journey to the metropolis of our county, and 
brought back a portmanteau full of necessaries to 
qualify them for appearing decently, as my wife said, 
in the company they should meet there. 

In about a month, for their visit was drawn out 
to that length, my daughters returned. But had you 
seen, Mr. Mirror, what an alteration that month had 
made on them ! Instead of the rosy complexions, 
and sparkling eyes, they had carried with them, they 
brought back cheeks as white as a curd, and eyes as 
dead as the beads in the face of a baby. 

I could not help expressing my surprize at the 
sight ; but the .younger of the two ladies immediate- 
ly cut me short, by telling me, that their complexion 
was the only one worn at . 

And no wonder, Sir, it should, from the descrip- 
tion which my daughter sometimes gives us of the 
life people lead there. Instead of rising at seven, 
breakfasting at nine, dining at three, supping at 
eight, and getting to bed by ten, as it was their 
custom at home, my girls lay till twelve, breakfasted 
at one, dined at six, supped at eleven, and were 
never to bed till three in the morning. Their shapes 
had undergone as much alteration as their faces. — 
From their bosoms, (necks they called them,) which 


Mere squeezed up to their throats, their waists ta- 
pered down to a very extraordinary smallness : they 
resemble the upper half of an hour glass. At this, 
also, I marvelled ; but it was the only shape worn 

at . Next day, after dinner, after a long 

morning preparation, they appeared with heads of 
such a size, that my little parlour was not of height 
enough to let them stand upright in it. This was 
the most striking metamorphosis of all. Their mo- 
ther slared ; I ejaculated ; my other children burst 
out a laughing ; the answer was the same as before ; 

it was the only head worn at . 

Nor is their behaviour less changed than their 
garb. Instead of joining in the good humoured 
cheerfulness we used to have among us before, my 
two fine young ladies check every approach to mirth, 
by calling it vulgar. One of them chid their bro- 
ther the other day for laughing, and told him it 
was monstrously ill bred. In the evenings, when 
we were wont, if we had nothing else to do, to fall 
to Blind-man's buff, or Cross-purposes, or some- 
times to play at Loo for cherry-stones, these two get 
a pack of cards to themselves, and sit down to play 
for any little money their visit has left them, at a 
game none of us know any thing about. It seems, 
indeed, the dullest of all amusements, as it consists 
in merely turning up the faces of the cards, and .re- 
peating their names from an ace upwards, as if the 
players were learning to speak, and had got only 
thirteen words in their vocabulary. But of this, 
and every other custom at , no body is allow- 
ed to judge but themselves. They have got a parcel 
of phrases, which they utter on all occasions as de- 
cisive, French, I believe, though I can scarce find 
any of them in the dictionary, and am unable to put 
them upon paper ; but all of them mean something 
extremely fashionable, and are constantly supported 


by the authority of my Lady, or the Countess, his 
Lordship, or Sir John. 

As they have learned many foreign, so have they 
unlearned some of the most common and best un 
derstood home phrases. When one of my neighbours 
was lamenting the extravagance and dissipation of a 
young kinsman who had spent his fortune, and lost 
his health in London and at Newmarket, they called 
it life, and said it shewed spirit in the young man. 
After the same rule, they lately declared, that a 
gentleman could not live on less than 10001. a-year, 
and called the account which their mantua-maker 
and milliner sent me for the fineries purchased for 

their visit at , a trifle, though it amounted to 

591. lis. 4d. exactly a fourth part of the clear in- 
come of my estate. 

All this, Mr, Mirror, I look upon as a sort of 
pestilential disorder, with which my poor daughters 
have been infected in the course of this unfortunate 
visit. This consideration has induced me to treat 
them hitherto with lenity and indulgence, and try to 
effect their cure by mild methods, which indeed suit 
my temper (naturally of a pliant kind, as every body, 
except my wife, says,) better than harsh ones. Yet, 
I confess, I could not help being in a passion t'other 
day, when the disorder shewed symptoms of a more 
serious kind. Would you believe it, Sir, my daugh- 
ter Elizabeth (since her visit, she is offended if we 
call her Betty) said it was fanatical to find fault with 
card-playing on Sunday ; and her sister Sophia 
gravely asked my son-in-law, the clergyman, if he 
had not some doubts of the soul's immortality ? 

As certain great cities, I have heard, are never 
free from the plague, and at last come to look upon 
it as nothing terrible or extraordinary ; so, I sup- 
pose, in London, or even your town, Sir, this dis- 
ease always prevails, and is but little dreaded. But, 
in the country, it will be productive of melancholy 

THE MIR110R. 61 

effects indeed ; if suffered to spread there, it will 
not only embitter our lives, and spoil our domestic 
happiness, as at present it does mine, but, in its 
most violent stages, will bring our estates to market, 
our daughters to ruin, and our sons to the gallows. 
Be so humane, therefore, Mr. Mirror y as to sug- 
gest some expedient for keeping it confined within 
those limits in which it rages at present. If no pub- 
lic regulation can be contrived for that purpose 
(though I cannot help thinking this disease of the 
great people merits the attention of government, as 
much as the distemper among the horned cattle,) 
try, at least, the effects of private admonition, to 
prevent the sound from approaching the infected ; 
let all little men like myself, and every member of 
their families, be cautious of holding intercourse 
with the persons or families of dukes, earls, lords, 
nabobs, or contractors, till they have good reason 
to believe that s#ch persons and their households are 
in a sane and healthy state, and in no danger of 
communicating this dreadful disorder. And, if it 
has left such great and noble persons any feelings 
of compassion, pray put them in mind of that well- 
known fable of the boys and the frogs, which they 
must have learned at school. Tell them, Sir, that 
though the making fools of their poor neighbours 
may serve them for a Christmas gambol, it is matter 
of serious wretchedness to those poor neighbours in 
the after part of their lives : " It is sport to them, 
" but death to us." 

I am, Sec. 

John Homesp-u^m. 



THE antiquity of the poems ascribed to Ossian, 
the son of Fingol, has been the subject of much dis- 
pute. The refined magnanimity and generosity of 
the heroes, and the tenderness and delicacy of sen- 
timent, with regard to women, so conspicuous in 
those poems, are circumstances very difficult to re- 
concile with the rude and uncultivated age in which 
the poet is supposed to have lived. On the other 
hand, the intrinsic characters of antiquity which the 
poems bear ; that simple state of society the poet 
paints ; the narrow circle of objects and transactions 
he describes; his concise, abrupt, and figurative style ; 
the absence of all abstract ideas, and of all modern 
allusions, render it difficult to assign any other xra 
for their production than the age of Fingal. In short, 
there are difficulties on both sides ;#nd, if that re- 
markable refinement of manners seem inconsistent 
with cur notions of an unimproved age, the marks of 
antiquity with which the poems are stamped make 
it very hard to suppose them a modern composition. 
It is not, however, my intention to examine the me- 
rits of this controversy, much less to hazard any 
judgment of my own. All I propose is, to suggest 
©ne consideration on the subject, which, as far as I 
can recollect, has hitherto escaped the parti zans of 
either side. 

The elegant author of the Critical Dissertation on 
the Poems of Ossian, has very properly obviated the 
objections made to the uniformity of Ossian's ima- 
gery, and the too frequent repetition of the same 
comparisons. He has shown, that this objection pro- 
ceeds from a careless and inattentive perusal of the 
poems; for, although the range of the poet's objects 
was not wide, and consequently the same object does 
often return, yet its appearance is changed ; the image 


is new ; it is presented to the fa.ncy in another atti* 
tude, and clothed with different circumstances to make 
it suit the illustration for which it is employed. " In 
this," continues he, " lies Ossian's great art ;" and 
he illustrates his remark by taking the instances of 
the moon and of mist, two of the principal subjects 
of the bard's images and allusions. 

I agree with this critic in his observations, though 
I think he has rather erred in ascribing to art in Os- 
sian, that wonderful diversification of the narrow cir- 
cle of objects with which he was acquainted. It was 
not by any efforts of art or contrivance that Ossian 
presented the rude objects of nature under so many 
different aspects. He wrote from a full heart, from 
a rich and glowing imagination. He did not seek for, 
and invent images ; he copied nature, and painted 
objects as they struck and kindled his fancy. He had 
nothing within the range of his view, but the great 
features of simple nature. The sun, the moon, the 
stars, the desert heath, the winding stream, the 
green hill, with all its roes, and the rock with its 
robe of mist, were the objects amidst which Ossian 
lived. Contemplating these, under every variety of 
appearance they could assume, bo wonder that his 
warm and empassioned genius found in them a field 
fruitful of the most lofty and sublime imagery. 

Thus the very circumstance of his having such a 
circumscribed range of inanimate objects to attract 
the attention and exercise his imagination, was the 
natural and necessary cause of Ossian's being able 
to view and to describe them, under such a variety 
of great and beautiful appearances. And, may we 
not proceed farther, and affirm, that so rich a diver- 
sification of the few appearances of simple nature, 
could hardly have occurred to the imagination of a 
poet, living in any other than the rude and early age 
in which the son of Fingal appeared. 

In refined and polished society, where the works of 

Vol. i. g 


art abound, the endless variety of objects that present 
themselves, distract and dissipate the attention. The 
mind is perpetually hurried from one object to ano- 
ther, and no time is left to dwell upon the sublime 
and simple appearances of nature. A poet, in such 
an age, has a wide and diversified circle of objects on 
which to exercise his imagination. He has a large 
and diffused stock of materials from which to draw 
images to embellish his work ; and he does not al- 
ways resort for his imagery to the diversified appear- 
ance of the objects of rude nature; he does not avoid 
those because his taste rejects them ; but he uses 
them seldom, because they seldom recur to his ima- 

To seize these images belongs only to the poet of 
an early and simple age. where the undivided atten- 
tion has leisure to brood over the few, but sublime 
objects which surround him. The sea and the heath, 
the rock and the torrent, the clouds and meteors, the 
thunder and lightning, the sun and moon, and stars, 
are, as it were, the companions with which his ima- 
gination holds converse. He personifies and addresses 
them : every aspect they can assume is impressed 
upon his mind : he contemplates and traces them 
through all the endless varieties of seasons ; and they 
are the perpetual subjects of his images and allusions. 
He has, indeed, only a few objects around him : but 
for that very reason, he forms a more intimate ac- 
quaintance with their every feature, and shade, and 

From this circumstance, it would seem, that the 
poetical productions of widely-distant periods of so- 
ciety, must ever bear strong marks of the age which 
gave them birth ; and that it is not possible for a 
poetical genius of the one ape to counterfeit and imi- 
tate the productions of the other. To the poet of a 
simple age, the varied objects which present them- 
selves in cultivated society are unknown. To the 


poet of a refined age, the idea of imitating* the pro- 
ductions of rude times might, perhaps, occur ; but 
the execution would certainly be difficult, perhaps 
impracticable. To catch some few transient aspects 
of any of the great appearances of nature, may be 
within the reach of the genius of any age ; but to 
perceive, and feel, and paint, all the shades of a 
few simple objects, and to make them correspond 
with a great diversity of subjects, the poet must dwell 
amidst them, and have them ever present to his 

The excellent critic whom I have already men- 
tioned, has selected the instances of the moon and 
the mist, to shew how much Ossian has diversified 
the appearances of the few objects with which he was 
encircled. I shall now conclude this paper with se- 
lecting a third, that of the sun, which, I think, the 
bard has presented in such a variety of aspects, as 
could have occurred to the imagination in no other 
than the early and unimproved age in which Casian 
is supposed to have lived. 

The vanquished Frothal, struck with the generous 
magnanimity of Fingal, addresses him : " Terrible 
" art thou, O king of Morven, m battles of the 
" spears ; but, in peace, thou art like the sun, when 
« lie looks through a silent shower : the flowers lift 
" their fair heads before him, and the gales shake 
" their rustling wings." Of the generous open 
Cathmor, exposed to the dark and gloomy Cairbar, 
it is said : " His face was like the plain of the sun, 
" when it is bright : No darkness travelled over his 
" brow." Of Nathos : " The soul of Nathos was 
" generous and mild, like the hour of the setting 
" sun." Of young Connal, coming to seek the ho- 
nour of the spear: u The youth was lovely, as 

" the first beam of the sun". « O ! Fithil's 

" son," says Cuchullin, •* with feet of wind, fly over 
" the heath of Lena. Tell to Fingal, that Erin is 


44 enthralled, and bid the king of Morden hasten. 
" Oh ! let him come like the sun in a storm, when 
44 he shines on the hills of grass." 

Nathos, anxious for the fate of Darthula : " The 
44 soul of Nathos was sad, like the sun in the day 

" of mist, when his face is watery and dim." 

• Oscar, surrounded with foes, foreseeing the fall of 
his race, and yet at times gathering hope : " At 
44 times he was thoughtful and dark, like the sun 
« when he carries a cloud on his face ; but he looks 

44 afterward on the hills of Cona." Before Bos- 

mina sent to offer them the peace of heroes : 44 The 
* 4 host of Erragon brightened in her presence, as a 
4 * rock before the sudden beams of the sun, when 
44 they issue from a broken cloud, divided by the 

44 roaring wind." The remembrance of battles 

past, and the return of peace, is compared to the 
sun returning after a storm: Hear the battle of Lora ; 
44 the sound of its steel is long since past ; so thun- 
• 4 der on the darkened hill roars, and is no more ; 
44 the sun returns, with his silent beams : the glit- 
44 tering rocks, and green heads of the mountains, 
« smile." 

Fingal in his strength darkening in the presence 
of war: 44 His arm stretches to the foe like the beam 
44 of the sickly sun, when his side is crusted with 
< 4 darkness, and he rolls his dismal course through- 
44 out the sky." A young hero, exulting in his 
strength, and rushing towards his foes, exclaims, 
• 4 My beating soul is high ! My fame is bright be- 
* 4 fore me, like the streak of light on a cloud when 
44 the broad sun comes forth, red traveller of the sky ! 
♦' On another occasion, says a hero, I have met the 
* 4 battle in my youth. My arm could not lift the 
44 spear when first the danger rose ; but my soul 
44 brightened before the war as the green narrow 
44 vale, when the sun pours his streamy beams, be- 
4k fore he hides his head in a storm I" 



But it would exceed the proper bounds of this pa" 
per, were I to bring together all the passages which 
might illustrate my remarks. Without, therefore, 
quoting the beautiful address to the sun, which fi- 
nishes the second book of Temora, or that at the be- 
ginning of Carricthura, I shall conclude with laying 
before my readers that sublime passage at the end of 
Carth©n, where the aged bard, thrown into melan- 
choly by the remembrance of that hero, thus pours 
himself forth : 

— " I feel the sun, O Malvina ! leave me to my 
u rest. The beam of heaven delights to shine on the 
" grave of Carthon ; I feel it warm around. 

M O thou that rollest above, round as the shield 
" of my fathers ! whence are thy beams, O Sun I 
" thy everlasting light ? Thou cornet forth in thy 
" awful beauty, and the stars hide ^lerrclselves in the 
" sky : The moon, cold and pale, sinks in the wes- 
" tern wave, but thou thyself movest alone : Who 
" can be a companion of thy course ? The oaks of 
" the mountain fall ; the mountains themselves decay 
" with years ; the ocean shrinks, and grows again ; 
li the moon herself is lost in heaven ; but thou art 
u for ever the same, rejoicing in the brightness of 
" thy course. When the world is dark trith tem- 
" pests ; when thunder rolls, and lightning flies, 
u thou lookest in thy beauty from the clouds, and 
" laughest at the storm. But to Ossian thou lookest 
" in vain ; for he beholds thy beams no more ; whe- 
" ther thy yellow hair flows on the eastern clouds, or 
u thou tremblest at the gates of the west. But thou 
" art, perhaps, like me, for a season, and thy years 
" will have an end. Thou shait sleep in thy clouds, 
" careless of the voice of the morning. Exult, then, 
M O Sun, in the strength of thy youth ! Age is dark 
" and unlovely ; it is like the glimmering light of 
g 2 


" the moon when it shines through broken clouds j 
" the blast of the north is on the plain, and the tra- 
** veller shrinks in the midst of his journey." 


-Inertibus horis 

Ducere sollicitse jucunda oblivia vitae. Hor. 

THERE are some weaknesses, which, as they do 
not strike us with the malignity of crimes, and pro- 
duce their effects by imperceptible progress, we are 
apt to consider a* venial, and make very little scru- 
ple of indulging. But the habit which apologizes for 
these, is a mischief of their own creation, which it 
behoves us early to resist. We give way to it at 
first, because it may be conquered at any time ; and 
at last, excuse ourselves from the contest, because it 
has grown too strong to be overcome. 

Of this nature is indolence, a failing, I had almost 
said a vice, of all others the least alarming, yet, per- 
haps, the most fatal. Dissipation and intemperance 
are often the transient effects of youthful heat, which 
time allays, and experience overcomes ; but indo- 
lence " grows with our growth, and strengthens with 
our strength," till it has weakened every exertion 
of public and private duty : yet so seducing, that its 
evils are unfelt, and errors unrepented of. 

It is a circumstance of peculiar regret, that this 
should often be the propensity of delicate and amiable 
minds. Men unfeeling and unsusceptible, commonly 
beat the beaten track with activity and resolution ; 
the occupations they pursue, and the enjoyments 


they feel, seldom much disappoint the expectations 
they have formed ; but persons endowed with that 
nice perception of pleasure and pain which is annex- 
ed to sensibility, feel so much undescribable uneasi- 
ness in their pursuits, and frequently so little satis- 
faction in their attainments, that they are too often 
induced to sit still, without attempting the one or de- 
siring the other. 

The complaints which such persons make of their 
want of that success which attends men of inferior 
abilities, are as unjust as unavailing. It is from the 
use, not the possession of talents, that we get on in 
life : the exertion of very moderate parts outweighs 
the indecision of the brightest. Men possessed of the 
first, do things tolerably, and are satisfied ; of the 
last, forbear doing things well, because they have 
ideas beyond them. 

When I first resolved to publish this paper, I ap- 
plied to several literary friends for their aid in carry- 
ing it on. From one gentleman in London, I had, 
in particular, very sanguine expectations of assistance. 
His genius and abilities I had early opportunities of 
knowing, and he is now in a situation most favoura- 
ble to such productions, as he lives amidst the great 
and the busy world, without being much occupied ei- 
ther by ambition or business. His compositions at col- 
lege, when I first became acquainted with him, 
were remarkable for elegance and ingenuity ; and, 
as I knew he still spent much of his time in reading 
the best writers, ancient and modern, I made no 
doubt of his having attained such farther improve- 
ment of style and extension of knowledge, as 
would render him a very valuable contributor to the 

A few days ago, more than four months after I had 
sent him my lettea, I received the following answer 
to it. 


London, 1st March, 1779. 
My dear Friend, 
I AM ashamed to look on the date of this letter, 
and to recollect that of yours. I will not, however,* 
add the sin of hypocrisy to my other failings, by in- 
forming you, as is often done in such cases, that hur- 
ry of business, or want of health, has prevented me 
from answering your letter. I will frankly confess, 
that I have had abundance of leisure, and been per- 
fectly well, since I received it ; I can add, though, 
perhaps you may not so easily believe me, that I have 
had as much inclination as opportunity ; but the truth 
is, (you know my weakness that way) I have wished, 
resolved, and re-resolved to write, as I do by many- 
other things, without the power of accomplishing it. 
That disease of indolence, which you and my other 
companions used to laugh at, grows stronger and 
stronger upon me ; my symptoms, indeed, are mor- 
tal ; for I begin now to lose the power of struggling 
against the malady, sometimes to shut my ears against 
self admonition, and admit of it as a lawful indul- 

Your letter, acquainting me of the design of pub- 
lishing a periodical paper, and asking my assistance 
in carrying it on, found me in one of the paroxysms 
of my disorder. The fit seemed to give way to the 
call of friendship. I got up from my easy chair, 
walked two or three turns through the room, read 
your letter again, looked at the Spectators, which 
stood, neatly bound and gilt, in the front of my book- 
press, called for pen, ink, and paper, and sat down 
in the fervour of imagination, ready to combat vice, 
to encourage virtue, to form the manners, and to re- 
gulate the taste of millions of my fellow-subjects. 
A field fruitful and unbounded lay before me ; I be- 
gan to speculate on the prevailing vices and reigning 
follies of the times, tbe thousand topics which might 


arise for declamation, satire, ridicule, and humour ; 
the picture of manners, the shades of character, the 
delicacies of sentiment. I was bewildered amidst 
this multitude and variety of subjects, and sat dream- 
ing over the redundancy of matter and the ease of 
writing, till the morning was spent, and my servant 
announced dinner. 

I arose, satisfied with having thought much, and 
laid in store for writing much on subjects proper for 
your paper. I dined, if you will allow me the ex- 
pression, in company with those thoughts, and drank 
half a bottle of wine after dinner to our better ac- 
quaintance. When my man took away, I returned 
to my study, sat down at my writing-table, folded 
my paper into proper margins, wrote the word Mir- 
ror a-top, and filling my pen again drew up the cur- 
tain, and prepared to delineate the scene before me. 
But I found things not quite in the situation I had left 
them ; the groupes were more confused, the figures 
less striking, the colours less vivid, than I had seen 
them before dinner. I continued, however, to look on 
them — I know not how long ; for I was waked^from 
a very sound nap, at half an hour past six, by Peter 
asking me, if I chose to drink coffee. 

I was ashamed and vexed at the situation in which 
he found me. I drank my first dish rather out of hu- 
mour with myself; but, during the second, I began 
to account for it from natural causes ; and, before 
the third was finished, had resolved that study was 
improper after repletion, and concluded the*evening 
with one of the three Callenderj, out of the Arabian 
Nights Entertainment. 

For all this arrear I drew, resolutely, on to-morrow, 
and after breakfast prepared myself accordingly. I 
had actually gone so far as to write three introductory 
sentences, all of which I burnt, and was just black- 
ing the letter T for the beginning of a fourth, when 
Peter opened the door, and announced a gentleman, 


an old acquaintance, whom I had not seen for a con- 
siderable time. After he had sat with me for mere 
than an hour, he rose to go away ; I pulled out my 
watch, and 1 will fairly own I was not sorry to find 
it within a few minutes of one ; so I gave up the 
morning for lost, and invited myself to accompany my 
friend in some visits he proposed making. Our tour 
concluded in a dinner at a tavern, whence we repaired 
to the play, and did not part till midnight. I went 
to bed without much self-reproach, by considering, 
that intercourse with the world fits a man for reform- 
ing it. 

1 need not go through every day of the subsequent 
month, during which I remained in town, though 
there seldom passed one that did not remind me of 
what I owed to your friendship. It is enough to tell 
you, that, during the first fortnight, I always found 
some apology for delaying the execution of my pur- 
pose ; and, during the last, contented myself with the 
prospect of the leisure I should soon enjoy in the 
country, to which I was invited by a relation, to spend 
some time with him previous to his coming to town 
for the winter. I arrived at his house about the mid- 
dle of December. I locked on his fields, his walks, 
and his woods, which the extreme mildness of the 
season had still left in the garb of Thomson's philo- 
sophic melancholy, as scenes full of inspiration, in 
which genius might try her wings, and wisdom medi- 
tate, without interruption. But I am obliged to own, 
that though I have walked there many a time ; though 
my fancy was warmed with the scene, and shot out 
into a thousand excursions over the regions of ro- 
mance, of melancholy, of sentiment, of humour, of 
criticism, and of science, she returned, like the first 
messenger of Noah, without having found a resting- 
place ; and I have, at last strolled back to the house, 
where I sat listless in my chamber, with the irksome 
consciousness of some unperformed resolution, from 


which I was glad to be relieved by a summons to 
billiards, or a call to dinner. 

Thus have I returned to town, as unprofitable in 
the moments of solitude and retirement, as in those 
of business or society. Do not smile at the word 
business : what would be idleness to you, is to me 
very serious employment ; besides, you know very 
well, that to be idle, is often to be least at leisure. I am 
now almost hardy enough to lay aside altogether my 
resolution of writing in your paper ; but I find that 
resolution a sort of bond against me, till you are good 
enough to cancel it, by saying you do not expect me 
to write. I have made a more than ordinary effort 
to give you this sincere account of my attempt to as- 
sist you. I have at least the consolation of thinking, 
that you will not need my assistance. Believe me, 
with all my failings, 

Most sincerely and affectionately yours, 

P. S. I have just now learned by accident, that my 
nephew, a lad of fifteen, who is come to town from 
Harrow-school, and lives at present with me, hating 
seen one of your numbers about a week ago, has al- 
ready written, and intends transmitting you, a poli- 
tical essay, signed Aristides, a pastoral, subscribed 
X. Y. and an acrostic on Miss E. M. without a sig- 




Doctrina sed vim promovet insitam, 

Rcctique cult us pcctora roborant. Hor. 

HOWEVER widely the thinking part of mankind 
may have differed as to the proper mode of conduct- 
ing education, they have always been unanimous in 
their opinion of its importance. The outward effects 
of it are observed by the most inattentive. They 
know, that the clown and the dancing-master are 
the same from the hand of nature ; and, although a 
a little farther reflection is requisite to perceive the 
effects of culture on the internal senses, it cannot be 
disputed, that the mind, like the body, when arrived 
at firmness and maturity, retains the impressions it 
received in a more pliant and tender age. 

The greatest part of mankind, born to labour for 
their subsistence, are fixed in habits of industry by 
the iron hand of necessity. They have little time or 
opportunity for the cultivation of the understanding ; 
the errors and immoralities in their conduct, that 
flow from the want of those sentiments which educa- 
tion is intended to produce, will, on that account, meet 
with indulgence from every benevolent mind. But 
those who are placed in a conspicuous station, whose 
vices become more complicated and destructive, by 
the abuse of knowledge, and the misapplication of 
improved talents, have no title to the same indul- 
gence. Their guilt is heightened by the rank and 
fortune which, protect them from punishment, and 
which, in some degree, preserve them from that in- 
famy their conduct has merited. 

I hold it, then, incontrovertible, that the higher the 
rank, the more urgent is the necessity for storing the 
mind with the principles, and directing the passions 
to the practice of public and private virtue. Perhaps 


it might not be impossible to form plans of education, 
to lay down rules, and contrive institutions, for the 
instruction of youth of all ranks, that would have a 
general influence upon manners. But this is an at- 
tempt too arduous for a private hand ; it can be ex- 
pected only from the great council of the nation, 
when they shall be pleased to apply their experienced 
wisdom and- penetration to so material an object, 
which, in some future period, may be found not less 
deserving their attention than those important debates 
in which they are frequently engaged, whieh they 
conduct with an elegance, a decorum, and a public 
spirit, becoming the incorrupted, disinterested, virtu- 
ous representatives of a great and flourishing people. 

While in expectation of this, perhaps distant, xra, 
I hope it will not be unacceptable to my readers 
to suggest some hints that may be useful in the edu- 
cation of the gentleman, to try if it be not possible to 
form an alliance between the virtues and the graces, 
the man and the citizen, and produce a being less 
dishonourable to the species than the courtier of Lord 
Chesterfield, and more useful to society than the sa- 
vage of Rosseau. 

The sagacious Locke, toward the end of the last 
century, gave to the public some thoughts on educa- 
tion, the general merit of which leave room to regret 
that he did not find time, as he seems once to have 
intended, to revise what he had written, and give a 
complete treatise on the subject. But with all the 
veneration I feel for that great man, and all the re- 
spect that is due to him, I cannot help being of opi- 
nion, that some of his observations have laid the foun- 
dation of that defective system of education, the fatal 
consequences of which are so well described by my 
correspondent in the letter published in my fourth 
number. Mr. Locke, sensible of the labyrinth with 
which the pedantry of the learned had surrounded 
all the avenues to science, successfully employed the 

vol. i. h 


strength of his genius to trace knowledge to her 
source, and point out the direct read to succeeding 
generations. Disgusted with the schoolmen, he, from 
a prejudice to which even great minds are liable, 
seems to have contracted a dislike to every thing 
they taught, and even to the languages in which they 
wrote. He scruples not to speak of grammar as un- 
necessary to the perfect knowledge either of the dead 
or living languages, and to affirm, that a part of the 
years thrown away in the study of Greek and Latin, 
would be better employed in learning the trades of 
gardeners and turners ; as if it were a fitter and more 
useful recreation for a gentleman to plant potatoes, 
and to make chess-boards, and snuff-boxes, than to 
study the beauties of Cicero and Homer. 

It will be allowed by all, that the great purpose of 
education is to form the man and the citizen, that he 
may be virtuous, happy in himself, and useful to so- 
ciety. To attain this end, his education should begin, 
as it were, from his birth, and be continued till he ar- 
rive at firmness and maturity of mind, as well as of 
body. Sincerity, truth, justice, and humanity, are to 
be cultivated from the first dawnings of memory and 
observation. As the powers of these increase, the 
genius and disposition unfold themselves ; it then be- 
comes necessary to check, in the bud, every propen- 
sity to folly or to vice ' r to root out every mean, selfish, 
and ungenerous sentiment ; to warm and animate 
the heart in the pursuit of virtue and honour. The 
experience of ages has hitherto discovered no surer 
method of giving right impressions to young minds, 
than by frequently exhibiting to them those bright 
examples which history affords, and, by that means, 
inspiring them with those sentiments of public and 
private virtue which breathe in the writings of the 
sages of antiquity. 

In this view, I have ever considered the acquisition 
of frhe dead languages as a most important branch in 


the education of a gentleman. Not to mention that 
the slowness with which he acquires them, prevents 
his memory from being* loaded with facts faster than 
his growing reason can compare and distinguish, he 
beomes acquainted by degrees with the virtuous cha- 
racters of ancient times; he admires their justice, 
temperance, fortitude, and public spirit, and burns 
with a desire to imitate them. The impressions these 
have made, and the restraints to which he has been 
accustomed, serve as a check to the many tumultuous 
passions which the ideas of religion alone would, at 
that age, be unable to controul. Every victory he 
obtains over himself serve as a new guard to virtue. 
When he errs, he becomes sensible of his weakness, 
which, at the sajne time that it teaches him mode- 
ration, and forgiveness to others, shews the necessity 
of keeping a stricter watch over hia own actions. 
During these combats, his reasoning faculties expand, 
his judgment strengthens, and, while he becomes ac- 
quainted with the corruptions of the world, he fixes 
himself in the practice of virtue. 

A man thus educated, enters upon the theatre of 
the world with many and great advantages. Accus- 
tomed to reflection, acquainted with human nature, 
the strength of virtue, and depravity of vice, he can 
trace actions to their source, and be enabled, in the 
affairs of life, to avail himself of the wisdom and ex- 
perience of past ages. 

Very different is the modern plan of education fol- 
lowed by many, especially with the children of per- 
sons in superior rank. They are introduced into the 
world almost from their very infancy. In place of 
having their minds stored with the bright examples 
of antiquity, or those of modern times, the first know- 
ledge they acquire is of the vices with wliich they are 
surrounded ; and they learn what mankind are, with- 
out ever knowing what they ought to be. Possessed 
of no sentiment of virtue, of no social affection, they 


indulge, to the utmost of their ability, the gratifica- 
tion of every selfish appetite, without any other re- 
straint than what self-interest dictates. In men thus 
educated, youth is not the season of virtue ; they have 
contracted the cold indifference and all the vices of 
age, long before they arrive at manhood. If they 
attain to the great oftlces of the state, they become 
ministers as void of knowledge as of principle ; equally 
regardless of the national honour as of their own, 
their system of government (if it can be called a sys- 
tem) looks not beyond the present moment, and any 
apparent exertions for the public good are meant only 
as pi ops to support themselves in office. In the 
field, at the head of armies, indifferent as to the fate 
of their fellow-soldiers, or of their country, they make 
their power the minister of their pleasures. If the 
Wisdom of their sovereign should, happily for him- 
self and his country, shut them out from his coun- 
cils, should they be confined to a private station, 
finding no entertainment in their own breasts, a9 
void of friends as incapable of friendship, they sink 
reflection in a life of dissipation. 

If the probable consequences of those different 
modes of education be such as I have mentioned, 
there can be little doubt to which the preference be- 
longs, even though that which is preferred should be 
less conducive than its opposite to those elegant ac- 
complishments which decorate society. But, upon 
examination, I believe even this objection will vanish ; 
for, although I willingly admit, that a certain degree 
of pedantry is inseparable from the learning of the 
divine, the physician, or the lawyer, which a late 
commerce with the world is unable to wear off, yet 
learning is, in no respect, inconsistent, either with 
that graceful ease and elegance of address peculiar 
to men of fashion, or with what, in modern phrase, 
is called knowledge of the world. The man of su- 
perior accomplishments will, indeed, be indifferent 


about many things which are the chief objects of at- 
tention to the modern fine gentleman. To conform 
to all the minute changes of the mode, to be admired 
for the gaudiness of his equipage, to boast of his 
success in intrigue, or publish favours he never re- 
ceived, will, to him, appear frivolous and disho- 

As many of the bad effects of the present system of 
education may be attributed to a premature introduc- 
tion into the world, I shall conclude this paper by re- 
minding those parents and guardians who are so anxi- 
ous to bring their children and pupils early into pub- 
lic life, that one of the finest gentlemen, the brightest 
geniuses, the most useful and best informed citizens 
of which antiquity has left us an example, did not 
think himself qualified to appear in public till the age 
of twenty-six, and continued his studies, for some years 
after, under the eminent teachers of Greece anjl 



O prima vera gioventu de I'anno, 

Bella madre di fiori, 

D'crbe novelle, e di novelli amori ; 

Tu torni ben, ma teco 

No tornano i sereui 

E fortunati di de le mie gioie. Guarixi: 

THE effects of the return of Spring have been fre- 
quently remarked, as well in relation to the human 
mind, as to the animal and vegetable world. The re- 
viving power of this season lias been traced from the 
fields to the herds that inhabit them, and from the 
lower classes of beings up to man. Gladness and joy 
are described as prevailing through universal nature, 
h 2 


animating the low of the cattle, the carrol of the birds, 
and the pipe of the shepherd. 

I know not if it be from a singular, or a censurable 
disposition, that I have often felt in my own mind 
something very different from this gaiety, supposed 
to be the inseparable attendant of the vernal scene. 
Amidst the returning verdure of the earth, the mild- 
ness of the air, and the sky, I have found a still and 
quiet melancholy take possession of my soul, which 
the beauty of the landscape, and the melody of the 
birds, rather soothed than overcame. 

Perhaps some reason may be given why this sort 
of feeling should prevail over the mind, in* those 
moments of deeper pensiveness to which every think- 
ing mind is liable, more at this time of the year 
than at any other. Spring, as the renewal of verdure 
and of vegetation, becomes naturally the season of 
remembrance. We are surrounded with objects new 
only in their revival, but which we acknowledge as 
our acquaintance in the years that are past. Winter, 
which stopped the progression of nature, removed 
them from us for a while, and we meet, like friends 
long parted, with emotions rather of tenderness than 
of gaiety. 

The train of ideas once awaked, memory follows 
over a very extensive field. And, in such a disposi- 
tion of mind, objects of cheerfulness and delight are, 
from those very qualities, the most adapted to inspire 
that milder sort of sadness which, in the language 
of our native bard, is " pleasant and mournful to 
the soul." They will inspire this, not only from the 
recollection of the past, but from the prospect of the 
future ; as an anxious parent, amidst the sportive 
gaiety of the child, often thinks of the cares of man- 
hood and the sorrows of age. 

This effect will, at least, be commonly felt by per- 
sons who have lived long enough to see, and had re- 
flection enough to observe, the vicissitudes of life. 


Even those who have never experienced severe cala- 
mities, will find, in the review of their years, a thou- 
sand instances of fallacious promises and disappointed 
hopes. The dream of childhood, and the project of 
youth, have vanished to give place to sensations cf a 
very different kind. In the peace and beauty of the 
rural scene which Spring first unfolds to us, we are 
apt to recal the former state, with an exaggerated 
idea of its happiness, and to feel the present with 
increased dissatisfaction. 

But the pencil of memory stops not with the re- 
presentation of ourselves ; it traces also the compa- 
nions and friends of our early days, and marks the 
changes which they have undergone. It. is a dizzy 
sort of recollection to think over the names of our 
school-fellows, and to consider how very few of them 
the maze of accidents, and the sweep of time, have 
left within our reach. This, however, is less pointed 
than the reflection on the fate of those whom affinity 
or friendship linked to our side, whom distance of 
place, premature death, or (sometimes not a less 
painful consideration) estrangement or affection, has 
disjoined from us for ever. 

I am not sure if the disposition to reflections of 
this sort be altogether a safe or a proper one. 1 am 
aware, that, if too much indulged, or allowed to be- 
come habitual, it may disqualify the mind for the 
more active and bustling scenes of life, and unfit it 
for the enjoyments of ordinary society ; but, in a cer- 
tain degree, 1 am persuaded it may be found useful. 
We are all of us too little inclined to look into our 
own minds, all apt to put too high a value, on the 
things of this life. But a man under the impressions 
1 have described, will be led to look into himself, and 
will see the vanity of setting his heart upon external 
enjoyment. He will feel nothing of that unsocial 
spirit which gloomy and ascetic severities inspire ; 
but the gentle, and not unpleasing melancholy that 


•will be diffused over his soul, will fill it with a calm 
and sweet benevolence, will elevate him much above 
any mean or selfish passion. It will teach him to 
look upon the rest of the world as his brethren, tra- 
velling the same road, and subject to the like cala- 
mities with himself ; it will prompt his wish to alle- 
viate and assuage the bitterness of their sufferings, 
and extinguish in his heart every sentiment of male- 
volence or of envy. 

Amidst the tide of pleasure which flows on a mind 
of little sensibility, there may be much social joy, 
without any social affection ; but, in a heart of the 
mould I allude to above, though the joy maybe less, 
there will, I believe, be more happiness and more 

It is rarely from the precepts of the moralist, or 
the mere sense of duty, that we acquire the virtues 
of gentleness, disinterestedness, benevolence and hu- 
manity. The feelings must be won, as well as the 
reason convinced, before men change their conduct. 
To them tr e world addresses itself, and is heard ; it 
offers pleasure to the present hour ; and the promise 
of satisfaction in the future is too often preached in 
vain. But he who can feel that luxury of pensive 
tenderness, of which I have given some faint sketches 
in this paper, will not easily be won from the pride 
of virtue, and the dignity of thought, to the inordi- 
nate gratifications of vice, or the intemperate amuse- 
ments of folly. 



Insanit veteres statuas Damasippus emendo. Hob. 
To the Editor of the Mirror. 


AS 1 am persuaded that you will not think it with- 
out the province of a work such as yours, to throw 
your eye sometimes upon the inferior ranks of life, 
where there is any error that calls loud for amend- 
ment, I will make no apology for sending; you the 
following narrative. 

I was married, about five years ago, to a young 
man in a good way of business as a grocer, whose 
character, for sobriety, and diligence in his trade, 
was such as to give me the assurance of a very com- 
fortable establishment in the mean time, and, in case 
Providence should bless us with children, the pros- 
pect of making a tolerable provision for them. For 
three years after our marriage there never was a hap- 
pier couple. Our shop was so well frequented, as to 
require the constant attendance of both of us ; and, 
as it was my greatest pleasure, to see the cheerful 
activity of my husband, and the obliging attention 
which hi shewed to every customer, he has often, 
during that happy time, declared to me, that the 
sight of my face behind the counter (though, indeed, 
Sir> my looks are but homely) made him think his 
humble condition far more blest than that of the 
wealthiest of our neighbours, whose possessions de- 
prived them of the high satisfaction of purchasing, 
by their daily labour, the comfort and happiness of 
a beloved object. 

In the evenings, after our small repast, which, if 
the day had been more than usually busy, we some- 
times ventured to finish with a glass or two of punch, 


while my husband was constantly engaged with his 
books and accounts, it was my employment to sit by 
his side knitting, and, at the same time, to tend the 
cradle of our first child, a girl, who is now a fine 
prattling creature of four years of age, and begins 
already to give me some little assistance in the care 
of her younger brother and sister. 

Such was the picture of our little family, in which 
we once enjoyed all that happiness that virtuous in- 
dustry, and the most perfect affection, can bestow. 
But those pleasing days, Mr. Mirror, are now at an 

The sources of unhappiness in my situation are 
very different from those of other unfortunate mar- 
ried persons. It is not of my husband's idleness or 
extravagance, his ill-nature or his avarice, that I have 
to complain ; neither are we unhappy from any de- 
crease of affection, or disagreement in our opinions. 
But I will not, Sir, keep you longer in suspense. 
In short, it is my misfortune that my husband is 
become a man of taste. 

The first symptom of this malady, for it is now 
become a disease indeed, manifested itself, as I have 
said, about two years ago, when it was my husband's 
ill luck to receive one day from a customer, in pay- 
ment of a pound of sugar, a crooked piece of silver, 
which he, at first, mistook for a shilling, but found, 
on examination, to have some strange characters 
upon it, which neither of us could make any thing 
of. An acquaintance coming in, who, it seems, had 
some knowledge of those matters, declared it at once 
to be a very curious coin of Alexander the Third ; 
and, affirming that he knew a virtuoso who would be 
extremely glad to be possessed of it, bid him half a 
guinea for it upon the spot. My poor husband, who 
knew as little of Alexander the Third as of Alexan- 
der the Great, or his other namesake the Co hfier smith, 
was nevertheless persuaded, from the extent of the 


offer, and of the opinion he had of his friend's dis- 
cernment, that he was possessed of a very valuable 
curiosity ; and in this he was fully confirmed, when, 
on shewing it to the virtuoso above-mentioned, he 
was immediately offered triple the sum. This too 
was rejected, and the crooked coin was now judged 
inestimable. It would tire your patience, Mr. Mirror, 
to describe minutely the progress of my husband's 
delirium. The neighbours soon heard of our acqui- 
sition, and flocked to be indulged with a sight of it. 
Others who had valuable curiosities of the same 
kind, but who were prudent enough not to reckon 
them quite beyond all price, were, by much entrea- 
ty, prevailed on by my husband to exchange them 
for guineas, half guineas, and crown pieces ; so that, 
in about a month's time, he could boast of being 
possessed of twenty pieces, all of inestimable value, 
which cost him only the trifling sum of 181. 12s. 6d. 
But the malady did not rest here ; it is a dreadful 
thing, Mr. Mirror, to get a taste. It ranges from 
" heaven above, to the earth beneath, and to the 
" waters under the earth." Every production of na- 
ture, or of art, remarkable either for beauty or de- 
formity, but particularly, if either scarce or old, is 
now the object of my husband's avidity. The profits 
of our business, once considerable, but now daily 
diminishing, are expended, not only on coins, but 
on shells, lumps of different-coloured stones, dried 
butterflies, old pictures, ragged books, and worm- 
eaten parchments. 

Our house, which it was once my highest pleasure 
to keep in order, it would be now equally vain to at- 
tempt cleaning as the ark of Noah. The children's 
bed is supplied by an Indian canoe ; and the poor little 
creatures sleep three of them in a hammock, slung 
up to the roof between a stuffed crocodile and the 
skeleton of a calf with two heads. Even the com- 
modities of our shop have been turned out to make 


room for trash and vermin. Kites, owls, and bats, 
are perched upon the top of our shelves ; and, it was 
but yesterday, that, putting my hand into a glass jar 
that used to contain pickles, I laid hold of a large 
tarantula in place of a mangoe. 

In the bitterness of my soul, Mr. Mirror, I have 
been often tempted to revenge myself on the objects 
of my husband's phrenzy, by burning, smashing, and 
destroying them without mercy ; but, besides that 
such violent procedure might have effects too dread- 
ful upon a brain which, 1 fear, is already much un- 
settled, I could not take such a course, without being 
guilty of a fraud to our creditors, several of whom 
will, I believe, sooner or later, find it their only means 
of reimbursement, to take back each man his own 

Meantime, Sir, as my husband constantly peruses 
your paper, (one instance of his taste which I cannot 
object to) I have some small hopes that a good effect 
may be produced by giving him a fair view of him- 
self in your moral looking-glass. If such should be the 
happy consequence of your publishing this letter, 
you shall have the sincerest thanks of a grateful 
heart, from your now disconsolate humble servant, 

Rebecca Prune. 

I cannot help expressing my suspicion that Mrs. 
Rebecca Prune has got somebody to write her letter. 
If she wrote it herself, I am afraid it may be thought 
that the grocer's wife, who is so knowing in what 
she describes, and can joke so learnedly on her 
spouse's ignorance of the three Alexanders, has not 
much reason to eomplaia of her husband being a man 
of taste. 

Her case, however, is truly distressful, and, in 
the particular species of her husband's disorder, ra- 
ther uncommon. The taste of a man in his station, 
generally looks for some reputation from his neigh- 


hours and the world, and walks out of doors to shew 
itself to both. 

1 remember, a good many years ago, to have visited 
the villa of a citizen of Bath, who had made a con- 
siderable fortune by the profession of a toyman in 
that city. It was curious to observe how much he 
had carried the ideas of his trade into his house and 
grounds, if such might be called a kind of Gothic 
building, of about 18 feet by 12, and an inclosure, 
somewhat short of an acre. The first had only a 
few closets within ; but it made a most gallant and 
warlike show without. It had turrets about the size 
of the king at nine pins, and battlements like the 
side-crust of a Christmas goose-pye. To complete 
the appearance of a castle, we entered by a draw- 
bridge, which, in construction and dimensions, exact- 
ly resembled the lid of a travelling trunk. To the 
right of the house was a puddle, which, however, 
was dignified with a harbour, defended by two re- 
doubts, under cover of which lay a vessel of the size 
of an ordinary bathing tub, mounting a parcel of 
old tooth -pick-cases, fitted up into guns, and manned 
with some of the toyman's little family of play -thing 
figures, with red jackets, and striped trowsers, whom 
he had impressed into the service. The place where 
this vessel lay, a fat little man, whom I met on the 
shore, who seemed an intimate acquaintance of the 
proprietor, informed me was called Spithead, and 
the ship's name, he told me, pointing to the picture 
on her stern, was the Victory. 

This gentleman afterwards conducted me, not with- 
out some fear, across a Chinese bridge, to a pagoda, 
In which it was necessary to assume the posture of 
devotion, as there was not room to stand upright. On 
the sides of the great serpentine walk, as he termed 
it, by which we returned from this edifice, I found a 
device, which my Cicerone looked upon as a master- 
stroke of genius. The ground was shaped into the 

VOL. I. I 


figures of the different suits of cards ; so that here 
was the heart walk, the diamond walk, the club walk, 
and the spade walk ; the last of which had the ad- 
ditional advantage of being sure to produce a pun. 
On my observing how pleasant and ingenious all this 
was, my conductor answered, " Ay, ay, let him 
" alone for that ; he has given them a little of every 
" thing, you see ; and so he may, Sir, for he can 
" very well afford it." 

I believe we must rest the matter here. In this 
land of freedom, there is no restraining the liberty 
of being ridiculous ; I would only intreat Mr. Prune, 
and, indeed, many of his betters, to have some re- 
gard for their wives and families, and not to make 
fools of themselves, till, like the Bath toyman, they 
can very well afford it. 


Laudabunt alii claram Rhodanaut Mytelenen. Hon. 

NOTHING is more amusing to a traveller than 
to observe the different characters of the inhabitants 
of the countries through which he passes ; and to 
find, upon crossing a river or a mountain, has mark- 
ed a difference in the manners, the sentiments, and 
the opinions of the people, as in their appearance, 
their dress, or their language. Thus, the easy viva- 
city of the French, is as opposite to the dignified 
gravity of the Spaniard, on the one hand, as it is to 
the phlegmatic dulness of the German on the other. 
But, though all allow that every nation has some 
striking feature, some distinguishing characteristic, 
philosophers are not agreed as to the causes of that 


distinction. Montesquieu has exerted all the powers 
of his genius to prove, that difference of climate is 
the chief, or only the cause of the difference of na- 
tional characters ; and it is not surprising that the 
opinion of so great a man should have gained much 
ground. None of his followers has carried the mat- 
ter farther than the author of Recherches Philoso- 
phiques sur les Americains, whose chief object 
seems to have been to show, that the climate of 
America is of such a nature, that, from it3 baneful 
influence, even the human species has degenerated 
in that quarter of the globe. 

I must confess, however, that I have often doubted 
as to the justness of this opinion ; and, though I do 
not mean to deny that climate has an influence on 
man, as well as on other animals, I cannot help 
thinking that Montesquieu, and the writers who 
have adopted his system, have attributed by far too 
much to it. 

It must be allowed that man is less affected by the 
influence of climate than any other animal. But, of 
all the human race, an American savage seems to 
approach the nearest, in the general condition of his 
life, to the brute creation, and, of consequence, 
ought to be most subject to the power of climate. 
And yet, if we compare an Indian with an European 
peasant, or manufacturer, we shall be apt to think, 
that the former, considered as an individual, holds a 
higher rank in the scale of being than the latter. 

The savage, quitting his cabin, goes to the assem- 
bly of his tribe, and there delivers his sentiments on 
the affairs of his little nation with a spirit, a force, 
and an energy, that might do honour to an Euro- 
pean orator. Thence he goes to make war upon his 
foes ; and, in the field, discovers a sagacity in his 
stratagems, a boldness in his designs, a perseverance 
in his operations, joined with a patience of fatigue 
and of suffering, that have long been objects of ad- 


miration, and which filled the inhabitants of the old 
world, when they first beheld them, with wonder and 
astonishment. How superior such a being to one 
occupied, day after day, in turning the head of a 
pin, or forming the shape of a button, and possess- 
ing not one idea beyond the business in which he is 
immediately employed ? 

It may perhaps be objected, that no fair compari- 
son can be made where the state of society is so dif- 
ferent, the necessary effect of civilization being to 
introduce a distinction of ranks, and to sink the 
lower orders of men far beneath that station to which 
by nature they are intitied. But, allowing this ob- 
servation to be just, we shall find, upon comparing 
the savage of America with the savage of Europe, 
as described by C?esar and Tacitus, that the former 
is at least equal to the latter, m all the virtues above 

We need not, however, go so far for instances, 
to show, that other causes act more powerfully than 
climate, in forming the manners, and fixing the 
characters of men. London and Pans are, at pre- 
sent, the first cities in Europe, in point of opulence, 
and number of inhabitants ; and in no other part of 
the western world are the polite and elegant arts cul- 
tivated tc such advantage. But the inhabitants of 
those cities differ essentially in manners, sentiments, 
and opinions ; while, at the same time, they breathe 
an air so very much alike, that it is impossible to im- 
pute that difference, in any considerable degree, to 
difference of climate ; and, perhaps, it may not be 
a difficult task to point out various other causes, 
which may enable us to account sufficiently for the 
distinction between the national character of the two 

In France, the power of the great nobles was 
sooner reduced within bounds than in England ; and, 
in proportion as their power fell, that of the mon* 


arch rose. But, no sooner was the authority of the 
crown established on a firm basis, than the court 
became an object of the first attention and import- 
ance. Every man of genius, of distinction, and of 
rank, hastened thither, in hopes of meeting with 
that encouragement which his talents merited, or 
of being able to display, on the only proper theatre, 
those advantages which he possessed, either in 
reality, or in his own imagination. 

Thus Paris, the seat of the court, became the 
centre of all that was great and noble, elegant and 
polite. The manners every day became more and 
more polished ; and no man who did not possess the 
talents necessary to make himself agreeable, could 
expect to rise in the world, however great his abili- 
ties might otherwise be. The pleasures of society 
were cultivated with care and assiduity ; and no- 
thing tended more to promote them than that free in- 
tercourse which soon came to take place between the 
sexes. All men studied to acquire those graces and 
accomplishments by which alone they could hope to 
recommend themselves to the ladies, whose influ- 
ence pervaded every branch of government, and 
every department of the state. 

In England on the other hand, the crown gained 
little by the fall of the nobility. The high preroga- 
tive exerted by the princes of the Tudor race, was 
of short duration. A third order soon arose, that, 
for a time, trampled alike on the throne and the 
nobles. And, even after the constitution was at 
length happily settled, the sovereign remained so 
limited in power and in revenue, that his court never 
required a degree of influence or splendor at all 
comparable to that of the French monarch. Lon- 
don had become so great and opulent by its exten- 
sive commerce, that the residence of the court could 
add little to that consideration in which it was al- 
ready held. This circumstance had a powerful ef- 
i 2 


feet on the manners. What was looked upon as a 
virtue at Paris, was in London considered as a vice. 
There industry and frugality were so essentially re- 
quisite, that every elegant accomplishment was re- 
jected as incompatible with those great commercial 

The dark and gloomy spirit of fanaticism which 
prevailed so universally in England during the last 
century, served as an additional barrier against the 
progress of politeness and elegance of manners. — 
Add to this, that the English, (owing perhaps to the 
superior degree of liberty they enjoy, and to their 
high independent spirit,) have ever been more at- 
tached to a country-life than any civilized people in 
Europe ; and this last circumstance, slight as it 
may appear, has, perhaps, had as powerful an in- 
fluence as any I have mentioned. A man who lives 
in retirement, may be sincere, open, honourable 
above dissimulation, and free from disguise ; but he 
never can possess that ease of behaviour, and that 
elegance of manners, which nothing but a familiar 
acquaintance with the world, and the habit of ming- 
ling in society, and of conversing with persons of 
different ranks and different characters, can bestow. 

Let us not, however, repine at the superiority ol our 
neighbours in this respect. It is, perhaps, impossible 
to possess, at once, the useful and the agreeable qual- 
ities in an eminent degree ; and, if ease and polite- 
ness be only attainable at the expence of sincerity 
in the men, and chastity in the women, I flatter my- 
self, there are few of my readers who would not 
think the purchase made at too high a price. 

I have, of late, remarked, with regret, an affec- 
tation of the manners of France, and a disposition 
in some of the higher ranks to introduce into this 
island that species of gallantry which has so long 
prevailed in that nation. But, happily, neither the 
habits, the dispositions, the genius of pur people, 


nor that mixture of ranks which our constitution ne- 
cessarily produces, will admit of it. In France, 
they contrive to throw over their greatest excesses a 
veil so delicate and so line, as in some measure to 
hide the deformity of vice, and even at times to be- 
stow upon it the semblance of virtue. But, with us, 
less delicate and less refined, vice appears in its na- 
tive colours, without concealment and without dis- 
guise ; and, were the gallantry of Paris transplanted 
into this soil, it would soon degenerate into gross 
debauchery. At present my countrywomen are 
equally respected for their virtue, as admired for 
their beauty ; and I trust it will be long before they 
cease to be so. 


MY friend Mr. Umphravilk's early retirement, 
and long residence in the country, have given him 
many peculiarities, to which, had he continued long- 
er in the world, and had a free intercourse with 
mankind, he would probably not have been subject. 
These give to his manner an apparent hardness, 
which, in reality, is widely different from his natural 

As he passes much time in study and solitude, 
and is naturally of a thoughtful cast, the subjects of 
which he reads, and the opinions which he forms, 
make a strong and deep impression on his mind ; 
they become, as it were, friends and companions 
from whom he is unwilling to be separated. Hence 
he commonly shows a disposition to take a lead in, 
and give the tone to conversation, and delivers his 
opinions too much in the manner of a lecture. And, 


though his curiosity and love of information concur 
with that politeness which he is ever studious to ob- 
serve, to make him listen with patience and atten- 
tion to the opinions of others ; yet, it must be con- 
fessed, that he is apt to deliver his own with an un- 
common degree of warmth, and I have very seldom 
found him disposed to surrender them. 

I find, however, nothing disagreeable in this pe- 
culiarity of my friend. The natural strength of his 
understanding, the extent of his knowledge, and 
that degree of taste which he has derived from a 
strong conception of the sublime, the tender, and 
the bemittful, assisted by an extensive acquaintance 
with the elegant writers, both of ancient and modern 
times, render his conversation, in many respects, 
both instructive and entertaining ; and that singular- 
ity of opinion, which is the natural consequence of 
his want of opportunities of comparing his own 
ideas with those of others, affords me an additional 
pleasure. But, above all, I am delighted with the 
goodness of heart which breaks forth in every senti- 
ment he delivers. 

Mr. Umphraville's sister, who is often present, 
and sometimes takes a part in those conversations, is 
of a character at once amiable and respectable. 

In her earlier days, she spent much of her time 
in the perusal of novels and romances ; but, though 
she still retains a partiality for the few works of that 
kind which are possessed of merit, her reading is 
now chiefly confined to works of a graver cast. 

Miss Umphraville, though she has not so much 
learning, possesses, perhaps, no less ability as a * 
woman than her brother does as a man ; and, having 
less peculiarity in her way of thinking, has, conse- 
quently, a knowledge better fitted for common life. 
It is pleasing to observe how Miss Umphraville, 
while she always appears to act an under part, and, 
sometimes, indeed, not to act a part at all, yet 


watches, with a tender concern, over the singulari- 
ties of her brother's disposition ; and, without be- 
traying the smallest consciousness of her power, 
generally contrives to direct him in the most mate- 
rial parts of his conduct. 

Mr. Umphraville is the best master, and the best 
landlord that ever lived. The rents of his estate have 
undergone scarce any alteration since he came to the 
possession of it ; and his tenants too are nearly, the 
same. The ancient possessors have never been re- 
moved from motives of interest, or without some very 
particular reason ; and the few new ones he has cho- 
sen to introduce are, for the most part, persons who 
have been servants in his family, whose fidelity and 
attachment he has rewarded by a small farm at a 
low rent. 

I have had many a pleasant conversation, about sun- 
set in a summer evening, with those venerable gray- 
headed villagers. Their knowledge of country af- 
fairs, the sagacity of their remarks, and the manner 
acquired by a residence in Mr. Umphraville's family, 
with which they are accustomed to deliver them, 
have afforded me much entertainment. 

It is delightful to hear them run out in praises of 
their landlord. They have told me there is not a 
person in his neighbourhood who stands in need of 
his assistance, who has not felt the influence of his 
generosity ; which, they say, endears him to the 
whole country. Yet, such is the effect of that re- 
served and particular manner which my friend has 
contracted, that, while his good qualities have pro- 
cured him great esteem, and the disinterestedness of 
his disposition, with the opinion entertained of his 
honour and integrity, has always prevented him from 
falling into disputes or quarrels with his neighbours, 
there is scarcely one of them with whom he lives on 
terms of familiarity. 

Mr. Umphraville, in the earlier part of his life. 

9$ THF M1RR0H. 

had an attachment to an amiable young lady. Their 
situation at that time might have made an avowal of 
his passion equally fatal to both ; and, though it was 
not without a severe struggle, Mr. Umphraville had 
firmness enough to suppress the declaration of an 
attachment he was unable to subdue. The lady, 
some time after, married ; since that period, Mr. 
Umphraville has never seen her, or been known so 
much as once to mention her name ; but, I am cre- 
dibly informed, that, by his interest, her eldest son 
has obtained high preferment in the army. The only 
favour which Mr. Umphraville ever asked from any 
great man was for this young gentleman ; but neither 
the lady herself, nor any of her family, know by 
whose influence his advancement has been procured. 
Though it is possible, that, if Mr. Umphraville 
had married at an early period of life, his mind even 
in a state of retirement, would have retained a polish, 
and escaped many of those peculiarities it has now 
contracted ; yet, I own, I am rather inclined to be- 
lieve his remaining single a fortunate circumstance. 
Nor have my fair readers any reason to be offended 
at the remark ; great talents, even in a generous and 
benevolent mind, are sometimes attended with a cer- 
tain want of pliability, which is ill suited to the cor- 
dialities of domestic life. A man of such a dispo- 
sition as Mr. Umphraville has now acquired, might 
consider the delicacy, the vivacity, and the fine shades 
of female character as frivolous, and beneath atten- 
tion ; or, at least, might be unable, for any length 
of time, to receive pleasure from those indulgences, 
which minds of a softer mould may regard as the 
great and amiable perfection of what Mr. Pope calls 

" The last best work of Heaven." 

With all those respectable talents which Mr. Um- 
phraville possesses, with all that generosity of sentt- 


ment, and of heart so conspicuous in every 
thing he says or does, which so strongly endear him 
to his friends, I am apt to think, that, in the very 
intimate connection of the married life, a woman of 
delicacy and sensibility might often feel herself hurt 
by the peculiarities of character to which he is sub- 

The situation of a wife is, in this respect, very dif- 
ferent from that of a sister. Miss Umphravilie's ob- 
servation of her brother's peculiarities, neither les- 
sens her esteem, nor her affection for him ; these 
peculiarities serve only to increase her attention to 
him, and to make her more solicitous to prevent their 
effects. But in that still closer connection which sub- 
sists between husband and wife, while the percep- 
tion of his weakness might not have lessened the 
wife's affection, it might have given her a distress 
which a sister will not be apt to feel : a sister may 
observe the weaknesses of a brother without a blush, 
and endeavour to correct them without being hurt j 
a wife might be able to do neither. 

These views which I have given of Mr. Umphra- 
ville, and his family, may, perhaps, appear tedious 
to my readers. In giving this detail, I am afraid I 
have not sufficiently remembered, that, as they have 
not the same intimate acquaintance with that gentle- 
man which I have, they will not feel the same inter- 
est in what relates to him. 



Tantaene animis coelestibus irae > Vj*g. 

WHILE so many subjects of contention occupy 
the votaries of business and ambition, and prove the 
source of discord, envy, jealousy, and rivalship, 
among mankind, one would be apt to imagine, that 
the pursuits and employments of studious and literary 
men would be carried on with calmness, good tem- 
per, and tranquillity. The philosophic sage, retired 
from the world, who has truth for the object of his 
inquiries, might be willing, it were natural to sup- 
pose, to give up his own system, when he found it 
at variance with truth, and would never quarrel with 
another for adopting a different one ; and the man 
of elegance and taste, who has literary entertain- 
ment in view, would not, one should think, find fault 
with the like amusements of other men, or dispute, 
with rancour or heat upon mere matters of taste. 
But the fact has been otherwise : the disputes among 
the learned have, in every age, been carried on with 
the utmost virulence ; and men, pretending to taste, 
have railed at each other with unparalleled abuse. 
Possibly the abstraction from the world, in which 
the philosopher lives, may render him more impa- 
tient of contradiction than those who mix oftener 
with common societies ; and perhaps that fineness 
and delicacy of perception which the man of taste 
acquires, may be more liable to irritation than the 
coarser feelings of minds less cultivated and im- 

I have been led into these remarks by a conver- 
sation at which I happened lately to be present. Last 
week, having left with my editor materials for my 
next paper, I went to the country for a few days, to 
pay a visit to a friend, whose real name I shall con- 


ceal under that of Sylvester. Sylvester, when a 
young man, had retired to the country, and having 
succeeded to a paternal estate, which was sufficient 
for all his wants, had lived almost constantly at home. 
His time was spent chiefly in study, and he had pub- 
lished some performances which did honour to his 
genius and his knowledge. During all this time,, 
Sylvester was the regular correspondent of a gentle- 
man whom I shall here call Alcander, whose taste 
and pursuits were in many respects similar to his 
own. Alcander, though he was not an author like 
Sylvester, had from nature a very delicate taste, 
which had been much improved by culture. From 
a variety of accidents, the two friends had not met 
for a great number of years ; but, while I was at 
Sylvester's house, he received a letter from Alcan- 
der, notifying that gentleman's being on his way to 
visit him ; and soon after he arrived accordingly. 

It is not easy to describe the pleasure which the two 
friends felt at meeting. After the first salutations, 
their discourse took a literary turn. I was delighted 
as well as instructed with the remarks which were 
made upon men and books, by two persons of ex- 
tensive information and accomplished taste ; and the 
warmth with which they made them, added a relish 
to their observations. The conversation lasted till 
it was very late, when my host and his friend retired 
to their apartments, much pleased with each other, 
and in full expectation of additional entertainment 
from a continuation of such intercourse at the return 
of a new day. 

Next morning after breakfast, their literary dis- 
course was resumed. It turned on a comparison of 
\^0 different genius and merit of the French and 
English authors. Sylvester said, he thought there 
was a power of reasoning, a strength of genius, and 
a depth of reflection, in the English authors, of 
which the French, in general, were incapable ; and 

vol. i. K 


that, in his opinion, the preference lay greatly on 
the side of the writers of our own country. Alcan- 
der begged leave to differ from him ; he admitted, 
there was an appearance of depth in many of the 
English authors, but he said it was false and hollow. 
He maintained, that the seeking after something pro- 
found, had led into many useless metaphysical dis- 
quisitions, in which the writer had no real merit, nor 
could the reader find any real advantage. But the 
French authors, he said, excelled in remarks on life 
and character, which, as they were founded on ac- 
tual observation, might be attended with much utility, 
and, as they were expressed in the liveliest manner, 
could not fail to give the highest entertainment. Al- 
cander, in the course of his argument, endeavoured 
to illustrate it by a comparison of some of the most 
distinguished authors of both countries. Sylvester, 
finding those writers, whom he had studied with at- 
tention, and imitated with success, so warmly attack- 
ed, replied with some heat, as if he thought it tend- 
ed to the disparagement of his own compositions. 
Sylvester said something about French frivolity ; and 
Alcander replied with a sarcasm on metaphysical ab- 

Finding the conversation take this unlucky turn, I 
endeavoured to change the subject ; and from the 
comparison of the English and French authors, took 
occasion to mention that period of English literature, 
which has been frequently termed the Augustan age 
of England, when that constellation of wits appeared 
which illuminated the reign of Queen Anne. 

But this subject of conversation was as unfortunate 
as the former. Sylvester is a professed admirer of 
Swift, to whom his attachment is perhaps heightened 
by a little toryism in his political principles. Alcan- 
der is a keen whig, and as great an admirer of Addi- 
son. As the conversation had grown rather warm on 
a general comparison of the authors of one country 


with those of another, so its warmth was much grea- 
ter when the comparison was made of two particular 
favourite authors. Sylvester talked of the strength, 
the dignity, the forcible observation, and the wit of 
Swifc : Aicander of the ease, the gracefulness, the 
native and agreeable humour of Addison. From re- 
marks upon their writings, they went to their charac- 
ters. Sylvester spoke in praise of openness and spi- 
rit, and threw out something against envy, jealousy, 
and meanness. Aicander inveighed against pride and 
ill-nature, and pronounced an euiogium on elegance, 
philanthropy, and gentleness of manners. Sylvester 
spoke as if he thought no man of a candid and gene- 
rous mind could be a lover of Addison ; Aicander, 
as if none but a severe and ill-tempered one could 
endure Sv/if. 

The spirits of the two friends were now heated to 
a violent degree, and not a little rankled at each 
other. I endeavoured again to give the discourse a 
new direction, and, as if accidentally, introduced 
something about the Epistles of Phalaris. 1 knew 
both gentlemen were masters of the dispute upon 
that subject, which has so much divided the learned, 
and thought a dry question of this sort could not pos- 
sibly interest them too much. But in this I was mis- 
taken. Sylvester and x\lcander took different sides 
upon this subject, as they had done upon the former, 
and supported their opinions with no less warmth 
than before. Each of them catched fire from every 
thing his opponent said, as if neither could think 
well of the judgment of that man who was of an 
opinion different from his own. 

With this last debate the conversation ended. At 
our meeting next day, a formal politeness took place 
between Sylvester and Aicander, very different from 
that openness and cordiality of manner which they 
showed at their first meeting. The last, soon after, 
took his departure ; and, I believe, neither of them 


felt that respect for each other's understanding, nor 
that warmth of affection, which they entertained be- 
fore this visit. 

Alas ! the two friends did not consider that it was 
their being too much alike, their being engaged in 
similar employments, that changed their friendship 
into this coldness. Both attached to the same pur- 
suits, and accustomed to indulge them chiefly in se- 
clusion and solitude, they had been too little accus- 
tomed to bear contradiction. This impatience of con- 
tradiction had not been corrected in either by attention 
to the feelings or views of others ; snd the warmth 
which each felt in supporting his own particular 
opinion, prevented him from giving the proper in- 
dulgence to a diversity of ©pinion in the other. 
' S 


THIS day's paper I devote to correspondents. 
The first of the two letters it contains was left one 
night at the house of my editor, by a slender person 
in a slouched hat and a wide surtout. 

To the Author of the Mirror* 
I AM a young man, a lover of literature, and have 
sometimes had the satisfaction of seeing performan- 
ces of my own in print, several of my essays having 
been favourably received by the publishers of the ma- 
gazines. I have a great desire of becoming a corres- 
pondent of the Mirror ; but one circumstance a good 
deal embarrasses me ; that is, the fear of detection 
m conveying my letters. This has frequently pre-; 


vented me from sending an essay to other periodical 
publications, till the time proper for its appearance 
was past ; and so I have lost it altogether*, I have 
often set out with my paper in my pocket, passed 
and repassed the cross, looked at the faces of dif- 
ferent chairmen and porters* been at the foot of the 
stairs leading up to the penny-post office ; yet, from 
the effects of an insuperable bashfulness, returned 
home without being delivered of my burden. 

During the publication of the Edinburgh Maga- 
gine and Review, this inconvenience was remedied, 
by the placing of a box near the printing-house, into 
which any letter or parcel might be dropped with very 
little chance of discovery. I would recommend to 
you, Sir, a similar contrivance. We see on the 
eves of some of our public buildings the mouths of 
certain animals cut out in stone, through which the 
water from the roof descends to some convenient part 
of the street beneath. One of these, reversed so as 
to gape upwards instead of downwards, would exact- 
ly answer the purpose waited ; and besides tending 
to the ease and convenience of your correspondents, 
would have a pretty allusion to the Lion's mouth in 
the Guardian. If I might venture to point out a 
place for it, I would suggest that narrow passage at 
the back of Mr. Creech's shop, vulgarly called the 
Crames, as both centrical and secret. 

I am, Sir, See. 

Y. Z. 

Beside a general desire of obliging all my readers 
and correspondents, I have really a fellow-feeling for 
this young gentleman's modesty, having experienced 
the very embarrassment he describes in bringing 
forth to the world the fruits of my first boyish com- 
merce with the muses. I, therefore, immediately 
communicated his proposal to Mr. Creech, who sent 
out one of his young men to examine the spot pro- 
k 2 


posed l»y r\Ir. Z. for the station of this literary con- 
ductor. The lad who is a reader of plays, reported 
to us, or> has return, that « There is a kind of local 
" sympathy," which makes it not altogether advise- 
able to erect such a machine in that place at present. 
The hint, however, shall be duly attended to, when 
the magistrates (who, 1 am told, have, for some time, 
had such a scheme in view) set about putting the New 
Church, and its environs, on a more respectable 

The second letter was brought by a spruce foot- 
man, who, upon being asked whence he came, re- 
plied, from Mrs. Meekly's. 

To the Author of the Mirror. 

THE world has, at different periods, been afflicted 
with diseases peculiar to the times in which* they 
appeared, and the faculty have, with great ingenuity, 
contrived certain generic names by which they might 
be distinguished, it beingp quality of great use and 
comfort in a physician to be able to tell precisely of 
what disorder his patient is likely to die. The ner- 
vous seems to be the ailment in greatest vogue at 
present, a species of disease, which I afn apt to con- 
sider as not the less terrible for being less mortal than 
many others. I speak not from personal experience, 
Mr. Mirror ; my own constitution, thank God ! is 
pretty robust ; but I have the misfortune to be afflicted 
with a nervous wife. 

It is impossible to enumerate a twentieth part of 
the symptoms of this lamentable disorder, or of the 
circumstances by which its paroxysms are excited or 
increased. Its dependence on the natural phenome- 
na of the wind and weather, on the temperature of 
the air, whether hot or cold, moist or dry, might be 
accounted for ; and my wife would then be in no worse 
situation than the lady in a red cap and green jacket, 


-whose figure I have seen in the little Dutch barome- 
ters known by the name of baby-houses. But, beside 
feeling the impression of those particulars, her disor- 
der is brought on by incidents still more frequent, 
and less easy to be foreseen, than even the occasional 
changes in our atmosphere. A person running hasti- 
ly up cr down stairs, shutting a door roughly, placing 
the tongs on the leftside of the grate, and the poker 
on the right, setting the China figures onthe mantle- 
piece a little awry, or allowing the tassel of the bell- 
string to swing but for a moment ; any of those little 
accidents has an immediate and irresistible effect on 
the nervous system of my wife, and produces symp- 
toms, sometimes of languor, sometimes of irritation, 
which I her husband, my three children by a former 
marriage, and the other members of our family, equal- 
ly feel and regret. The above causes of her distem- 
per, a very attentive and diligent discharge of our se- 
veral duties might possibly prevent ; but even our in- 
voluntary actions are apt to produce effects of a similar 
or more violent nature. It was but the other day she 
told my boy Dick he eat his pudding so voraciously, 
as almost to make her faint, and remonstrated against 
my sneezing in the manner I did, which, she said, 
tore her poor nerves in pieces. 

One thing I have observed peculiar to this disor- 
der, which jLhose conversant with the nature of sym- 
pathetic affections may be able to explain. It is not 
always produced by exactly similar causes, if such 
causes exist in dissimilar situations. I have known 
my wife squeezed for hours in a side-box, dance a 

whole night at a ball, have my Lord talking as 

fast and as loud to her as was possible there, and her 
nose assailed by the stink of a whole row of flam- 
beaux, at going in and coming out, without feeling 
her nerves in the smallest degree affected ; yet, the 
very day after, at home, she could not bear my chair, 
or the chair of one of the children, to come within 


several feet of hers ; walking up stairs perfectly 
overcame her ; none of us durst talk but in whispers ; 
and the smell of my buttered roll made her sick to 

As I reckon your paper a paper of record for singu- 
lar cases, and intolerable grievances of every sort, I 
send the above for your insertion, stating it accord- 
ing to its nature, in terms as physically descriptive 
as my little acquaintance with the healing art can 

I am, &c. 

Joseph Meekly. 

This correspondent, as far as his wife's case falls 
within the department of the physician, I must refer 
to my very teamed friends Doctors Cullen and Monro, 
who. upon being properly attended, will give him, I 
am persuaded, as sound advice as it is in the power of 
medical skUl to suggest. In point of prudence, to 
which only my pre^ciiption k apply, I can advise no- 
t dug so proper for Mr. Meekly himself, a* to imitate 
tae conduct of the husband of that little lady he de- 
s .riber-, the mistress of the Dutch baby-house ; be- 
tween whom and his wife, though there subsists a 
very intimate connection, there is yet a contract of a 
particular kind : whenever the gentleman is at home, 
the lady is abroad, and vice versa. In their house, 
indeed, J do not observe any children ; from which 
I conclude, that they have all been sent to the acade- 
my and the boarding-school. 




Sincerum capimus vas incrustare. Horat. 

To the Author of the Mirror. 

YOUR Mirror, it seems, possesses uncommon vir- 
tues, and you generously hold it out to the public, 
that we may dress our characters at it. I trust it is, 
at least, a faithful glass, aud will give a just repre- 
sentation of those lurking imperfections or excellen- 
cies which we distinguish with difficulty, ©r sometimes 
altogether overlook. I struggle, therefore, to get 
forward in the crowd, and to set before your moral 
Mirror a personage who has long embarrassed me. 

The observation of character, when I first looked 
beyond a college for happiness, formed not only my 
amusement, but, for some years, my favourite study. 
I had been so fortunate as early to imbibe strict no- 
tions of morality and religion, and to arrive at man- 
hood in perfect ignorance of vicious pleasure. My 
heart was, therefore, led to place its hopes of happi- 
ness in love and friendship ; but books had taught me 
to dread misplacing my affections. On this account, 
anxious to gratify the " soif d'aimer" that engrossed 
me. I bent the whole of my little talents to discern the 
characters of my acquaintance ; and, blending senti- 
ments of religion with high notions of moral excel- 
lence, and the reiined intercourse of cultivated minds, 
I fondly hoped, that, where I once formed an attach- 
ment, it would last for ever. 

In this state of mind I became acquainted with 
Cleone. She was young and beautiful, but without 
that dimpling play of features which indicates, in 
some women, a mind of extreme sensibility. Her 
eye bespoke good sense, and was sometimes lighted 
up with vivacity, but never sparkled with the keen- 


ness of unrestrained joy, nor melted with the suffu- 
sion of indulged sorrow. Her manner and address 
had no tendency to familiarity ; it was genteel rather 
than graceful. Her voice in conversation was suited 
to her manner ; it possessed those level tones which 
ne^er offend, but seldom give pleasure, and seldomer 

Her conversation was plain and sensible. Never 
attempting wit or humour, she contented herself with 
expressing, in correct and unaffected language, just 
sentiments on manners, and on works of taste : and 
the genius she displayed in compositions becoming 
her sex, and the propriety of her own conduct, did 
honour to her criticisms. She sung with uncommon 
excellence. Her voice seemed to unfold itself in 
singing, to suit every musical expression, and to as- 
burne every tone of passion she wished to utter. I 
never felt the power of simple melody in agitating, 
affecting, and pleasing, more strongly than from her 

In company she was attentive, " prevenante," but 
not insinuating ; and, though she seemed to court 
the society of men of letters and taste, and to profess 
having intimate fiiendships with some individuals 
among them, I never could perceive that she was 
subject to the common weakness of making a parade 
of this kind of intercourse. 

Most people would suppose that I had found in 
Cleone the friend I was seeking ; for both of us knew 
we could never be nearer than friends to each other, 
and she. treated me with some distinction. I found 
it, however, impossible to know her so well as to place 
in her the complete confidence essential to friend- 
ship. The minutest attention to every circumstance 
in her appearance and behaviour, and studying her 
for years in all the little varieties of situation that an 
intimate acquaintance gave access to observe, proved 
unequal to discover with certainty the genuine cha- 


racter of her disposition or temper. No caprice be- 
trayed her: no predominant shade could be marked 
in her tears, in her laugh, or in her smiles. Some- 
times, however, I have thought she breathed a soft- 
ness of soul that tempted me to believe her gene- 
rous ; but, when I considered a little, the inner reces- 
ses of her heart appeared still shut against the 
observer ; and I well knew, that even poignant sen- 
sibility is not inconsistent with predominant selfish- 

When contemplating Cleone, I have often thought 
of that beautiful trait in the description of Petrarch's 
Laura: " II lampeggiar dell' angelico riso."* These 
flashes of affection breaking from the soul, alone 
display the truth, generosity, and tenderness, that 
deserve a friend. These gleams from the heart show 
us all its intricacies, its weakness and its vigour, and 
expose it naked and undisguised to the spectator. 
A single minute will, in this way, give more know- 
ledge of a character, and justly, therefore, attract 
more confidence, than twenty years experience of re- 
finement of taste and propriety of conduct. 

I am willing to believe it was some error in edu- 
tion which had wrapt up Cleone's character in so 
much obscurity, and not any natural defect that ren- 
dered it prudent to be invisible. If there is an error 
of this kind, I hope your Mirror will expose it, and 
prevent it from robbing superior minds of their best 
reward — the confidence of each other. 

In the present state of society, we have few op- 
portunities of exhibiting our true characters by our 
actions ; and the habits of the world soon throw upon 
our manners a veil that is impenetrable to others, 
and nearly so to ourselves. Hence the only period 
when we can form friendships is a few years in youth ; 
for there is a reserve in the deportment, and a cer- 

* The lightning of her angel smile. 


tain selfishness in the occupations of manhood, un- 
favourable to the forming of warm attachments. It 
is, therefore, fatal to the very source of friendship, 
if, when yet children, we are to be prematurely be- 
daubed with the varnish of the world. And yet, I 
fear, this is the necessary effect of modern educa- 

In place of cherishing the amiable simplicity and 
frankness of children, every emanation of the heart 
is checked by the constant restraints, dissimulation, 
and frivolous forms of fashionable address, with which 
we harrass them. Hence they are nearly the same 
at fourteen as at five and twenty, when, after a youth 
spent in joyless dissipation, they enter life, slaves to 
selfish appetites and reigning prejudices, and devoid 
of that virtuous energy of soul which strong attach- 
ments, and the habits of deserved confidence, inspire. 
Even those who, like Cleone, possess minds supe- 
rior to the common mould, though they cultivate 
their talents with success, and, in some measure, edu- 
cate themselves anew, find it impossible to get rid 
entirely of that artificial manner, and those habits 
of restraint, with which they had been so early im- 

Thus, like French taylors and dancing-masters, 
pretending to add grace and ornament to nature, we 
constrain, distort, and incumber her ; whereas the 
education of a polished age should, like the drapery 
of a fine statue or portrait, confer decency, propriety, 
and elegance, and gracefully veil, but by no means 
conceal, the beautiful forms of nature. 




It isti 

Errori nomen virtus posuisset honestum. Hon. 

I WAS lately applied to by a friend, in behalf of 
a gentleman, who, he said, had been unfortunate in 
life, to whom he was desirous of doing a particular 
piece of service, in which he thought my assistance 
might be useful : " Poor fellow ?" said he, " I wish 
" to serve him, because I always knew him, dissi- 
" pated and thoughtless as he was, to be a good- 
" hearted man, guilty of many imprudent things, 
" indeed, but without meaning any harm I In short, 
" no one's enemy but his own." 

I afterwards learned more particularly the circum- 
stances of this gentleman's life and conversation, 
which I will take the liberty of laying before my 
readers, in order to show them what they are to 
understand by the terms used by my friend, terms 
which I believe, he was no wise singular in using. 

The person whose interests he espoused, was heir 
to a very considerable estate. He lost his father 
when an infant ; and being, unfortunately, an only 
son, was too much the darling of his mother ever to 
be contradicted. During his childhood he was not 
suffered to play with his equals, because he was to 
be the king of all sports, and to be allowed a sove- 
reign and arbitrary dominion over the persons and 
properties of his play-fellows. At school he was at- 
tended by a servant, who helped him to thrash boys 
who were too strong to be thrashed by himself, and 
had a tutor at home, who translated the Latin which 
was too hard for him to translate. At college he be- 
gan to assume the man, by treating at taverns, 
making parties to the country, filling his tutor drunk, 
and hiring blackguards to break the windows of the 

VOL. I. L 


professor with whom he was boarded. He took in 
succession the degrees of a wag, a pickle, and a lad 
of mettle. For a while, having made an elopement 
with his mother's maid, and lathered three children 
of other people, he got the appellation of a dissipated 
dog : but, at last, betaking himself entirely to the 
bottle, and growing red faced and fat, he obtained the 
denomination of an honest fellow ; which title he 
continued to enjoy as long as he had money to pay, 
or, indeed, much longer, while he had credit to score, 
for his reckoning. 

During this last part of his progress, he married 
a poor girl, whom her father, from a mistaken idea 
of his fortune, forced to sacrifice herself to his wishes. 
After a very short space, he grew too indifferent a- 
bout her to use her ill, and broke her heart with the 
best-natured neglect in the world. Of two children 
whom he had by her, one died at nurse scon after 
the death of its mother ; the eldest, a boy of spirit 
like his father, after twice running away from school, 
was at last sent a-board a Guinea-man, and was 
knocked on the head by a sailor, in a quarrel about a 
negro wench, on the coast of Africa. 

Generosity, however, was a part of his character 
which he never forfeited. Beside lending money 
genteelly to many worthless companions, and becom- 
ing surety for every men who asked him, he did seme 
truly charitable actions to very deserving objects. 
These were told to his honour ; and people who had 
met with refusals from more considerate- men, spoke 
of such actions as the genuine test of feeling and hu- 
manity. They misinterpreted scripture for indul- 
gence to his errors on account of his charity, and ex- 
tolled the g;ocdness cf his heart in every company 
where he was mentioned. Even while his mother, 
during her last illness, was obliged to accept of money 
from her physician, because she could not obtain 
payment of her jointure, and while, after her decease, 


his two sisters were dunning him every clay, without 
effect, for the small annuity 1 -ft them by their father, 
he was called a good-hearted man by three-fourths 
of his acquaintance ; and when, after having pawned 
their cloaths, rather than distress him, those sisters 
commenced a law-suit to force him to do them jus- 
tice, the same impartial judges pronounced them 
hard-hearted and unnatural ; nay, the story is still 
told to their prejudice, though they now prevent their 
brother from starving, out of the profits of a little 
shop which they were then obliged to set up for their 

The abuse of the terms used by my friend, in re- 
gard to the character of this unfortunate man, would 
be sufficiently striking from the relation I have given, 
without the necessity c.f my offering any comment 
on it. Yet the misapplication of them is a thousand 
times repeated by people who have known and felt 
instances equally edaring of such injustice. It may 
seem invidious to lessen the praises of any praise- 
worthy quality ; but it is essential to the interests of 
virtue, that insensibility should not be allowed to as- 
sume the title of good-nature, nor profusion to usurp 
the honours of genercsiiy. 

The effect of such misplaced and ill-founded in- 
dulgence is hurtful in a double degree. It encourages 
the evil which it forbears to censure, and discourages 
the good qualities which are found in men of decent 
and sober characters. If we look into the private 
histories of unfortunate families, we will nnd most of 
their calamities to have proceeded from a neglect of 
the useful duties of sobriety, economy, and attention 
to domestic concerns, which, though they shine not 
in the eye of the wort!, nay, are often subjected to 
its obloquy, are yet the surest guardians of virtue, of 
honour, and of independence. 

" Be just before you are generous," is a good old 
proverb, which the prodigate hero of a much admired 

1 14 TH-K MIR&OX. ' 

coined) is made to ridicule, in a well-turned, and 
.even a sentimental period. But what right have 
those squanderers of their own and other men's for- 
tunes to assume the merit of generosity ? Is parting 
with that money, which they value so little, genero- 
sity ? Let them restrain their dissipation, their riot, 
their debauchery, when they are told that these bring 
ruin on the persons and families of the honest and 
the industrious ; let them sacrifice one pleasure to 
humanity, and then tell us of their generosity and 
their feeling. A transient instance, in which the pro- 
digal relieved want with his purse, or the thoughtless 
debauchee promoted merit by his interest, no more 
deserves the appellation of generosity, than the rash- 
ness of a drunkard is intitled to the praises of valour, 
or the freaks of a madman to the laurels of genius. 
In the character of a man considered as a being of 
any respect at all, we immediately see a relation to 
his friends, his neighbours, and his country. Hi* 
duties only confer real dignity, and, what may not 
be so easily allowed, but is equally true, can bestow 
real pleasure. I know not an animal more insignifi- 
cant, or less happy, than a man without any ties of 
affection, or any exercise of duty.. He must be very 
forlorn, or very despicable, indeed, to whom it is 
possible to apply the phrase used by my friend, in 
characterizing the person whose story I have related 
above, and to say, that he is no cnei enemy but his 


THli MIRROR. 115 


Non satis est pulchra esse pcc\nata ; dulciasunto. Hon, 

NATURE is for ever before us. We can, as of- 
ten as we please, contemplate the variety of her pro- 
ductions, and feel the power of her beauty. We may 
feast our imaginations with the verdure of waving 
groves, the diversified colours of an evening sky, or 
the windings of a limpid river. We may dwell with 
rapture on those more sublime exhibitions of nature, 
the raging tempest, the billowy deep, or the stupen- 
dous precipice, that lift the soul with delightful a- 
mazement, and seem almost to suspend her exertions. 
These beautiful and vast appearances are so capable 
of affording pleasure, that they become favourite sub- 
jects with the poet and the painter ; they charm us 
in description, or they glow upon canvass. Indeed, 
the imitations of eminent artists have been held on 
an equal footing, in regard to the pleasure they yield, 
with the works of nature herself, and have sometimes 
been deemed superior. This subject deserves atten- 
tion ; how it happens, that the descriptions of the 
poet, and the imitations of the painter, seem to com- 
municate more delight than the things they describe 
or imitate. 

In estimating the respective merits of nature and 
of art, it will readily be admitted, that the preference, 
in every single object, is due to the former. Take 
the simplest blossom that blows, observe its tints or 
its structure, and you will own them unrivalled. What 
pencil, how animated soever, can equal the glories 
of the sky at sun-set ? or, can the representations of 
moonlight, even by Homer, Milton, and Shakespeare, 
be more exquisitely finished than the real scenery of 
a moonlight night ? 

l 2 


If the poet and painter are capable of yielding su- 
perior pleasure, in their exhibitions, to what we 
receive from the works of their great original, it is 
in the manner of grouping their objects, and by their 
skill in arrangement. In particular, they give un- 
common delight, by attending not merely to unity 
of design, but to unity, if I may be allowed the ex- 
pression, in the feelings they would excite. In the 
works of nature, unless she has been "ornamented 
and reformed by the taste of an ingenious improver, 
intentions of this sort are very seldom apparent. 
Objects that are gay, melancholy, solemn, tranquil, 
impetuous, and, fantastic, are thrown together, 
without any regard to the influences of arrangement, 
or to the consistency of their effects on the mind. 
The elegant artist, on the contrary? though his 
works be adorned with unbounded variety, suggests 
only those objects that excite similar or kindred 
emotions, and excludes every thing of an opposite, 
or even of a different tendency. If the scene he 
describes be solemn, no lively nor fantastic image 
can have admission : but if, in a sprightly mood, he 
displays scenes of festivity, every pensive and gloomy 
thought is debarred. Thus the figures he delineates 
have one undivided direction ; they make one great 
and entire impression. 

To illustrate this remark, let us observe the con- 
duct of Milton in his two celebrated poems, L' Alle- 
gro, and II Penseroso. 

In the Allegro, meaning to excite a cheerful 
mood, he suggests a variety of objects ; for variety, 
by giving considerable exercise to the mind, and by 
not suffering it to rest long on the same appearance, 
occasions brisk and exhilarating emotions. Accord- 
ingly, the poet shews us, at one glance, and, as t 
were, with a single dash of his pen, 

Russet lawns, and fallows gray, 
Where the nibbling flocks do stray, 


Mountains, on whose barren breast 
The labouring clouds do often rest ; 
Meadows trim with daisies pied, 
Shallow brooks and rivers wide. 

The objects themselves are cheerful ; for, besides 
her itig brooks, meadows, and flowers, we have the 
whistling plowman, the singing milk-maid, the 
mower whetting his scythe, and the shepherd piping 
beneath a shade. These images, so numerous, so 
various, and so cheerful, are animated by lively con- 
trasts : We have the mountains opposed to the 
meadows, " Shallow brooks and rivers wide." Add 
to this, that the charms of the landscape are height- 
ened by the bloom of a smiling season ; and that 
the light poured upon the whole is the delightful ra- 
diance of a summer morning. 

Right against the eastern gate, 
Where the great sun begins his state, 
Rob'd in flames of amber light, 
The clouds in thousand liv'ries dight. 

Every image is lively ; every thing different is with- 
held ; all the emotions the poet excites are of one 
character and complexion. 

Let us now observe the conduct of his II Pense- 
roso. This poem is, in every respect, an exact 
counterpart to the former. And the intention of the 
poet being to promote a serious and solemn mood, 
he removes every thing lively : u Hence vain delud- 
ing joys." He quits society ; he chuses silence, 
and opportunities for deep reflection ; " Some still 
removed place will fit." The objects are few. In 
the quotation, beginning with " Russet lawns," 
there are eight leading images ; in the following, 
of equal length, there is only one ; 

To behold the wand'ring moon, 
Riding near her highest noon, 


Like one that had been led astray- 
Through the heav'n's wide pathless way , . 
And oft, as if her head she bow'd, 
Stooping through a rleecy cloud. 

The sounds that can be, in any respect, agreeable to 
him, must correspond with his present humour : 
Not the song of the milk-maid, but that of the night- 
ingale ; not the whistling plowman, but the sound of 
the curfeu. His images succeed one another slowly, 
without any rapid or abrupt transitions, without any 
enlivening contrasts ; and he will have no other light 
for his landscape than that of the moon : Or, if hi; 
cannot enjoy the scene without doors, he will have 
no other light within than that of dying embers, or 
of a solitary lamp at midnight. The time, and the 
place he chuses for his retreat, are perfectly suited 
to his employment ; for he is engaged in deep medi- 
tation, and in considering 

What worlds or what vast regions hold 
Th' immortal mind. 

Every image is solemn ; every thing different i« 
withheld : here, as before, all the emotions the poet 
excites are of one character and complexion. It is 
owing, in a great measure, to this attention in the 
writer, ,to preserve unity and consistency of senti- 
ment, that, notwithstanding considerable imperfec- 
tions in the language and versification, L'Allegro and 
II Penseroso have so many admirers. 

The skill of the poet and the painter, in forming 
their works so as to excite kindred and united emo- 
tions, deserves the greater attention, that persons of 
true taste are not so much affected, even in contem- 
plating the beauties of nature with the mere per- 
ception of external object, as with the general in- 
fluences of their union and correspondence. It is 
.not that particular tree, or that cavern, or that cas- 


cade, which affords them all their enjoyment ; they 
derive their chief pleasure from the united effect of 
the tree, the cavern, and the cascade. A person of 
sensibility will be less able, perhaps, than another, 
to give an exact account of the different parts of an 
exquisite landscape, of its length, width, and the 
number of objects it contains. Yet the general ef- 
fect possesses him altogether, and produces in his 
mind very uncommon sensations. The impulse, 
however, is tender, and cannot be described. In- 
deed, it is the power of producing these sensations 
that gives the stamp of genuine excellence, in par- 
ticular, the works of the poet. Verses may be po- 
lished, and glow with excellent imagery ; but unless, 
like the poems of Parnel, or the lesser poems of 
Milton, they please by their enchanting influence on 
the heart, and by exciting feelings that are consist- 
ent, or of a similar tendency, they are never truly 
delightful. Horace, I think, expresses this senti- 
ment, when he says, in the words of my motto, 

Non satis est pulchra esse pee, nata ; dulcia sunto; 

and an attention to this circumstance is so import- 
ant, that, along with some other exertions, it enables 
the poet and painter, at least, to rival the works of 



To the Author of the Mirror. 
SOME time ago I troubled you with a letter, giv- 
ing an account of a particular sort of grievance felt 
by the families of men of small fortunes, from their 


acquaintance with those cf great onec. I am em- 
boldened by the favorable reception of* my first letter 

to write you a second upon the same subject. 

You will remember, Sir, my account of a visit 
which my daughters paid to a great lady in -our 
neighbourhood, and of the effects which that visit 
had upon them. I was beginning to hope that time, 
and the sobriety of manners which home exhibited, 
would restore them to their former situation, when 
unfortunately, a circumstance happened, still more 

fatal to me than their expedition to . This, 

vSir, was the honour of a visit from the great lady 
in return. 

1 was just returning from the superintendance of 
my plows in a field I have lately inclosed, when I 
was met, on the green before my door, by a gentle- 
man (for such I took him to be) mounted upon a 
very handsome gelding, who asked me, by the appel- 
lation cf honest friend, if this was not Mr. Home- 
spun's ; and, in the same breath, whether the ladies 
were at heme ? I told him, my name was HomespUn, 
the house was mine, and my wife and daughters 
were, I believed, within. Upon this, the young 
man. pulling off his hat. and begging my pardon for 
calling me honest, said lie was dispatched by Lady 

: — , with her compliments to Mrs. and Mi 

Homespun, and that, if convenient, she intended 
herself the honour of dining with them, on her re- 
turn from E Park, (the seat of ancther great 

and rich lady in our neighbourhood.) 

I confess, Mr. Mirror, I was struck somewhat cf 
a heap with the message ; and it would not, in all 
probability, have received an immediate answer, had 
it not been overheard by my eldest daughter, who 
had come to the window on the appearance cf a 
stranger. " Mr. Fapillot," said she immediately, 
" I rejoice to see you ; 1 hope your lady, and all the 
" family, are well." u Very much at your service, 


ma'am," he replied, with a low how ; " my lady 
" sent me before, with the offer of her best com- 
" pliments, and that, if convenient" — and so forth, 
repeating his words to me. " She does us infi- 
u nite honour," said my young madam, " let her 
«' ladyship know how happy her visit will make us ; 
" but, in the mean time, Mr. Papillot, give your 
" horse to one of the servants, and come in and 
" have a glass cf something after your ride." " I 
" am afraid," answered he, (pulling out his right 
hand watch, for, would you believe it, Sir, the fel • 
low had one in each fob,) " I shall hardly have time 
" to meet my lady at the place she appointed me." 
On a second invitation, however, he dismounted, 
and went into the house, leaving his horse to the 
care of the servants ; but the servants, as my daugh- 
ter very well knew, were all in the field at work ; 
so I, who have a liking for a good horse, and cannot 
bear to see him neglected, had the honour of putting 
Mr. Papillot's in the stable myself. 

After about an hour's stay, for the gentleman 
seemed to forget his hurry within doors, Mr. Papil- 
lot departed. My daughters, I mean the two polite 
ones, observed how handsome he was ; and added 
another observation, that it was only to particular 
friends my lady sent messages by him, who was her 
own body-servant, and not accustomed to such 
offices. My wife seemed highly pleased with this 
last remark ; I was about to be angry ; but on such 
occasions it is not my "way to say much ; I generally 
shrug up my shoulders in silence ; yet, as I said be- 
fore, Mr. Mirror, I would not have you think me 

By this time, every domestic about my house, 
male and female, were called from their several em- 
ployments to assist in the preparations for her lady- 
ship's reception. It would tire you to enumerate the 
various shifts that were made, by purchasing, bor- 


rowing, See. to furnish out a dinner suitable to the 
occasion. My grey little poney, which 1 keep for 
sending to market, broke his wind in the cause, and 
has never been good for any thing since. 

Nor was there less, ado in making ourselves and 
our attendants fit to appear before such company. 
The female part of the family managed the matter 
pretty easily, women, I observe, having a natural 
talent that way. My wife took upon herself the 
charge of appareling me for the occasion. A laced 
suit which I had worn at my marriage was got up for 
the purpose ; but the breeches burst a seam at the 
very attempt of pulling them on, and the sleeves of 
the coat were also impracticable ; so she was forced 
to content herself with clothing me in my Sunday's 
ccat and breeches, with the laced waistcoat of the 
above-mentioned suit, slit in the back, to set them 
off a little. My gardener, who has been accustomed, 
indeed, to serve in many capacities, had his head 
cropped, curled, and powdered, for the part of but- 
ler ; one of the best looking plow-boys had a yellow 
cape clapped to his Sunday's coat to make him pass 
for a servant in livery ; and we borrowed my son-in- 
law the parson's man for a third hand. 

All this was accomplished, though not without 
some tumult and disorder, before the arrival of the 
great lady. She gave us, indeed, more time for the 
purpose than we looked for, as it was near six o'clock 
before she arrived. But this was productive of a mis- 
fortune on the other hand ; the dinner my poor wife 
had bustled, sweated, and scolded for, was so over- 
boiled, over-stewed, and over-roasted, that it needed 
the appetite of so late an hour to make it go well 
down even with me, who am not very nice in these 
matters : luckily her ladyship, as I am told, never 
eats much, for fear of spoiling her shape, now that 
small waists have come into fashion again. 


The dinner, however, though spoiled in the cook- 
ing, was not thrown away, as her ladyship's train 
made shift to eat the greatest part of it. When I 
say her train, I do not mean her servants only, of 
which there were half a dozen in livery, beside the 
illustrious Mr. Papillot, and her ladyship's maid, gen- 
tlewoman I should say, who had a table to them- 
selves. Her parlour-attendants were equally nume- 
rous, consisting of two ladies and six gentlemen, who 
had accompanied her ladyship in this excursion, and 
did us the honour of coming to eat and drink with 
us, and bringing their servants to do the same, though 
we had never seen or heard of them before. 

During the progress of this entertainment, there 
were several little embarrassments which might ap- 
pear ridiculous in description, but were matters of 
serious distress to us. Soup was spilled, dishes over- 
turned, and glasses broken, by the awkwardness of 
our attendants ; and things were not a bit mended by 
my wife's solicitude (who, to do her justice, had all 
her eyes about her) t© correct them. 

From the time of her ladyship's arrival, it was im- 
possible that dinner could be over before it was dark ; 
this, with the consideration of the bad road she had 
to pass through in her way to the next house she 
meant to visit, produced aa invitation from my wife 
and daughters to pass the night with us, which, after 
a few words of apology for the trouble she gave us, 
and a few more of the honour we received, was agreed 
to. This gave rise to a new scene of preparation, 
rather more difficult than that before dinner. My 
wife and I were dislodged from our own apartment, 
to make room for our noble guest. Our four daugh* 
ters were crammed in by us, and slept on the floor, 
that their rooms might be left for the two ladies and 
four of the gentlemen who were entitled to the great- 
est degree of respect ; for the remaining two, we 
found beds at my son-in-law's. My two eldest daugh- 

VOL. I. M 


ters had, indeed, little time to sleep, being closetted 
the greatest part of the night with their right honour- 
able visitor. My offices were turned topsy turvy for 
the accommodation of the servants of my guests, and 
my own horses turned into the fields, that their's 
might occupy my stable. 

All these are hardships of their kind, Mr. Mirror, 
which the honour that accompanies them seems to 
me not fully to compensate ; but these are slight 
grievances, in comparison with what I have to com- 
plain of as the effects of this visit. The malady of 
my two eldest daughters is not only returned with 
increased violence upon them, but has now commu- 
nicated itself to every other branch of my family. 
My wife, formerly a decent discreet woman, who 
liked her own way, indeed, but was a notable manager, 
now talks of this and that piece of expence as neces- 
sary to the rank of a gentlewoman, and has lately 
dropped some broad hints that a winter in town is ne- 
cessary to the accomplishment of one. My two 
younger daughters have got the heads that formerly 
belonged to their elder sisters, to each of whom, un- 
fortunately, the great lady presented a set of feathers, 
for which new heads were essentially requisite. 

The inside of all of them has undergone a very 
striking metamorphosis from this one night's in- 
struction of their visitor. There is, it seems, a fashion 
in morality, as well as in dress ; and the present 
mode is not quite so strait-laced as the stays are. 
My two fine ladies talked, a few mornings ago, of 

stech a gentleman's connection with Miss C , and 

such another's arrangement with Lady G , with 

all the ease in the world ; yet these words, I find, 
being interpreted, mean nothing less than fornication 
and adultery. I sometimes remonstrate warmly, es- 
pecially when I have my son-in-law to back me, 
against these new-fangled freedoms ; but another 
doctrine they have learned is # that a father and a 

THil MIRROR. 125 

parson may preach as they please, but are to be fol- 
lowed only according to the inclination of their audi- 
ence. Indeed 1 could not help observing, that my 

Lady never mentioned her absent lord, (who, 

I understand, is seldom of her parties,) except some- 
times to let us know how much she differed in opi- 
nion from him. 

This contempt of authority, and affectation of fa- 
shion, has gone a step lower in my household. My 
gardener has tied his hair behind, and stolen my flour 
to powder it ever since he saw Mr. Papillot ; and 
yesterday he gave me warning that he should leave 
me next term, if I did not take him into the house, 
and provide another hand for the work in the garden. 
I found a great hoyden, who washes my daughters' 
linens, sitting, the other afternoon, dressed in one of 
their cast fly-caps, entertaining this same oaf of a gar- 
dener, and the wives of two of my farm-servants, with 
tea, forsooth ; and when I quarrelled her for it, she 
replied, that Mrs. Dimity, my Lady 's gen- 
tlewoman, told her all the maids at had tea, 

and saw company, of an afternoon. 

But I am resolved on a reformation, Mr. Mirror, 
and shall let my wife and daughters know, that I wHl 
be master of my own house and my own expences, 
and will neither be made a fool nor a beggar, though 
it were after the manner of the greatest lord in Chris- 
tendom. Yet I confess I am always for trying gentle 
methods first. I beg, therefore, that you will insert 
this in your next paper, and add to it some exhorta- 
tions of your own to prevail on them, if possible, to 
give over a behaviour, which, I think, under favour, 
is rather improper even in great folks, but is cer- 
tainly ruinous to little ones. 
I am, Sec. 

John Homespwn. 

Mr. Homespun's relation, too valuable to be short- 
ened, leaves me not room at present for any obser- 


vations. But I have seen the change of manners 
among some of my countrywomen, for several years 
past, with the most sensible regret ; and I intend 
soon to devote a paper to a serious remonstrance 
with them on the subject. 


NOTHING can give a truer picture of the man- 
ners of any particular age, or point out more strongly 
those circumstances which distinguish it from others, 
than the change that takes place in the rules esta- 
blished as to the external conduct of men in society, 
or in what may be called the system of politeness. 

It were absurd to say, that, from a man's external 
conduct, we are always to judge of the feelings of his 
mind ; but, certainly, when there are rules laid down 
for men's external behaviour to one another, we may 
conclude, that there are some general feelings pre- 
valent among the people which dictate those rules, 
and make a deviation from them be considered as 
improper. When at any time, therefore, an altera- 
tion in those general rules takes place, it is reason- 
able to suppose that the change has been produced 
by some alteration in the feelings, and in the ideas of 
propriety and impropriety of the people. 

Whoever considers the rules of external behaviour 
established about a century ago, must be convinced, 
that much less attention was then paid by men of 
high rank to the feelings of those beneath them, than 
in the present age. In that xra a man used to mea- 
sure out his complaisance to others according to the 
degree of rank in which they stood, compared with 
his ow 7 n. A peer had a certain manner of address and 


salutation to a peer of equal rank, a different one to 
a peer of an inferior order, and, to a commoner, the 
mode of address was diversified according to the an- 
tiquity of his family, or the extent of his possessions ; 
so that a stranger who happened to be present at the 
levee of a great man, could, with tolerable certainty, 
by examining his features, or attending to the low- 
ness of his bow, judge of the different degrees o£ 
dignity among his visitors. 

Were it the purpose of the present paper, this 
might be traced back to a very remote period. By 
the Earl of Northumberland's household book, begun 
in the year 15 12, it appears, that my lord's board-end, 
that is to say, the end of the table where he and his 
principal guests were seated, was served with a dif- 
ferent and more delicate sort of viands, than those 
allotted to the lower end. " It is thought good," 
says that curious record, " that no pluvers be bought 
" at no time but only in Christmas, and principal 
" feasts, and my lord to be served therewith, and his 
" board-end, and no other."* 

In this country, and in a period nearer our own 
times, we have heard of a Highland chieftain, who 
died not half a century ago, remarkable for his hos- 
pitality, and for having his table constantly crowded 
with a number of guests : possessing a high idea of 
the dignity of his family, and warmly rttached to 
ancient manners, he was in use very nicely to discri- 
minate, by his behaviour to them, the ranks of the 
different persons he entertained. The head of the 
table was occupied by himself, and the rest of the 
company sat nearer or more remote from him ac- 
cording to their respective ranks. All, indeed, were 

* The line of distinction was marked by a large Salt-Seller 
placed in the middle of the table, above which, at " my lord's 
" board-end," sat the distinguished guests ; and below it tho&e 
of an inferior class. 

M % 


allowed to partake of the same food ; but, when the 
liquor was produced, which was at that time, and 
perhaps still is in some parts of Scotland, accounted 
the principal part of a feast, a different sort of beve- 
rage was assigned to the guests, according to their 
different dignities. The landlord himself, and his 
family, or near relations, drank wine of the best kind ; 
to persons next in degree, was allotted wine of an 
inferior sort ; and to guests of a still lower rank, were 
allowed only those liquors which were the natural 
produce of the country. This distinction was agree- 
able to the rules of politeness at that time establish- 
ed : the entertainer did not feel any thing disagree- 
able in making it ; nor did any of the entertained 
think themselves intitled to take this treatment amiss. 
It must be admitted, that a behaviour of this sort 
would not be consonant to the rules of politeness esta- 
blished in the present age. A man of good breeding 
now considers the same degree of attention to be due 
to every man in the rank of a gentleman, be his for- 
tune or the antiquity of his family what it may ; nay, 
a man of real politeness will feel it rather more in- 
cumbent on him to be attentive and complaisant to 
his inferiors in these respects, than to his equals. 
The idea which ^n modern times is entertained of 
politeness, points out such a conduct. It is founded 
on this, that a man of a cultivated mind is taught to 
feel a greater degree of pleasme in attending to the 
ease and happiness of people with whom he mixes in 
society, than in studying his own. On this account, 
he gives up what would be agreeable to his own 
taste, because he finds more satisfaction in humour- 
ing the taste of others. Thus, a gentleman, now-ar 
days, takes the lowest place at his own table ; and, 
if there be any delicacy there, it is set apart for his 
guests. The entertainer finds a much more sensi- 
ble pleasure in bestowing it oa them, than in taking, 
it to himself. 


From the same cause, if a gentleman be in com- 
pany with another not so opulent as himself, or how- 
ever worthy, not possessed of the same degree of 
those adventitious honours which are held in esteem 
by the world, politeness will teach the former to pay 
peculiar attention and observation to the latter. Men, 
even of the highest minds, when they are first intro- 
duced into company with their superiors in rank or 
fortune, are apt to feel a certain degree of awkward- 
ness and uneasiness which it requires some time and 
habit to wear off. A man of fortune or of rank, if 
possessed of a sensible mind, and real politeness, will 
feel, and be at particular pains to remove this. Hence 
he will be led to be rather more attentive to those, 
who, in the eyes of the multitude, are reckoned his 
inferiors, than to others who are more upon a footing 
with him. 

It is not proposed, in this paper to enquire what 
are the causes of the difference of men's ideas, as 
to the rules of politeness in this and the former age. 
It is sufficient to observe, and the reflection is a very 
pleasant one, that the modern rules of good breeding 
must give us a higher idea of the humanity and re^ 
finement of this age than of the former ; and, though 
the mode of behaviour above mentioned may not be 
universally observed in practice, yet it is hoped it 
will not be disputed that it is consonant to the rules 
which are now pretty generally established. 

It ought, however, to be observed, that, when we 
speak, even at this day, of good-breeding, of polite- 
ness, of complaisance, these expressions are always 
confined to our behaviour towards those who are con- 
sidered to be in the rank of gentlemen ; but no sys,- 
tem of politeness or of complaisance is established, 
at least in this country, for our behaviour to those of 
a lower station. The rules of good breeding do not 
extend to them ; and he may be esteemed the best 
bred man in the world who is a very brute to his. sec- 
\ants. ami dependents. 


This I cannot help considering as a matter of re- 
gret ; and it were to be wished that the same huma- 
nity and refinement which recommends an equal at- 
tention to all in the rank of gentlemen, would extend 
some degree of that attention to those who are in 
stations below them. 

It will require but little observation to be satisfied 
that all men, in whatever situation, are endowed with 
the same feelings, (though education or example may- 
give them a different modification) and that one in 
the lowest rank of life may be sensible of a piece of 
insolence, or an affront, as well as one in the highest. 
Nay, it ought to be considered, that the greater the 
disproportion of rank, the affront will be the more 
sensibly felt ; the greater the distance from which it 
comes, and the more unable the person affronted to 
revenge it, by so much the heavier will it falL 

It is not meant that, in our transactions with men 
of a very low station, and who, from their circum- 
stances and the wants of society, must be employed 
in servile labour, we are to behave, in all respects, as 
to those who are in the rank of gentlemen. The 
thing is impossible, and such men do not expect it. 
But, in all our intercourse with them, we ought to 
consider that they are men possessed of like feelings 
with ourselves, which nature has given them, and no 
situation can or ught to eradicate. When we employ 
them in the labour of life, it ought to be our study 
to demand that labour in the manner easiest to them ; 
and we should never forget, that gentleness is part 
of the wages we owe them for their service. 

Yet how many men, in other respects of the best 
and most respectable characters, are, from inadver- 
tency, or the force of habit, deaf to those consider- 
ations ; and, indeed, the thing has been so little at- 
tended to, that in this, which has been called a polite 
age, complaisance to servants and dependents is not, 
as I have already observed, at least in this country* 
considered as making any part of politeness. 


But there is another set of persons still more ex- 
posed to be ireated roughly than even domestic ser- 
vants, and these are the waiters at inns and taverns. 
Between a master and servant a certain connection 
subsists, which prevents the former from using the 
latter very ill. The servant, if he is good for any 
thing, naturally forms an attachment to his master 
and to his interest, which produces a mutual inter- 
course of kindness between them. But no connec- 
tion of this sort can be formed with the temporary 
attendants above mentioned. Hence the monstrous 
abuse which such persons frequently suffer ; every 
traveller, and every man who enters a tavern, thinks 
he is intitled to vent his own ill humour upon them, 
and vollies of curses are too often the only language 
they meet with. 

Having mentioned the waiters in inns and taverns, 
I cannot avoid taking particular notice of the treat- 
ment to which those of the female sex, who are em- 
ployed in places of that sort, are often exposed. 
Th^ir situation is, indeed, peculiarly unfortunate. If 
a girl in an inn happens to be handsome, and a parcel 
of young thoughtless fellows cast their eyes upon her, 
she is immediately made the subject of taunt and 
merriment ; coarse and indecent jokes are often ut- 
tered In her hearing, and conversation shocking to 
modest ears is frequently addressed to her. The 
poor girl, all the while, is at a loss how to behave ; 
if she venture on a spirited answer, the probable con- 
sequence will be to raise the mirth of the facetious 
company, and to expose her to a repetition of insults. 
If, guided by the feelings of modesty, she avoid the 
presence of the impertinent guests, she is com- 
plained of for neglecting her duty ; she loses the lit- 
tle perquisite which, otherwise, she would be intitled 
to ; perhaps disobliges her mistress, and loses her 
place. Whoever attends but for a moment to the 
case of a poor girl so situated, if he be not lost to all 


tense of virtue, must feel his heart relent at the cru- 
elty of taking advantage of such a situation. But 
the misfortune is, that we seldom attend to such cases 
at all ; we sometimes think of the fatigues and suf- 
ferings incident to the bodies of our inferiors ; but 
we scarcely ever allow any sense of pain to their 

Among the French, whom we mimic in much false 
politeness, without learning from them, as we might 
do, much of the true, the observances of good-breed- 
ing are not confined merely to gentlemen, but ex- 
tend to persons of the lowest ranks. Thus, a French- 
man hardly ever addresses his servant, without culling 
him Monsieur, and the meanest woman in a country 
village is addressed by the appellation of Madame. 
The accosting, in this manner, people of so very low 
a rank, in the same terms with those so much 
their superiors, may perhaps appear extravagant ; 
but the practice shews how much that refined and 
elegant people are attentive to the feelings of the 
meanest, when they have extended the rules and ce- 
remonial of politeness even to them. 



There is a kind of mournful eloquence 

In thy dumb grief, which shames all clamorous sorrow. 

LEt's Theodosius. 

A VERY amiable and much respected friend of 
mine, whose real name I shall conceal under that of 
Wentworth, had lately the misfortune of losing a 
wife, who was not only peculiarly beautiful, but whose 
soul was the mansion of every virtue, and of every 
elegant accomplishment. She was suddenly cut off 


in the flower of her age, ajter having lived twelve 
years with the best and most affectionate of husbands. 
A perfect similarity of temper and disposition, a kin- 
dred delicacy of taste and sentiment, had linked their 
hearts together in early youth, and each succeeding 
year seemed but to add new strength to their affec- 
tion. Though possessed of an affluent fortune, they 
preferred the tranquillity of the country to all the 
gay pleasures of the capital. In the cultivation of 
their estate, in cherishing the virtuous industry of 
its inhabitants, in ornamenting a beautiful seat, in 
the society of one another, in the innocent prattle of 
their little children, and in the company of a few 
friends, Mr. Wentworth and his Amelia found every 
wish gratified, and their happiness complete. 

My readers will judge, then, what must have been 
Mr. Wentworth's feelings when Amelia was thus sud- 
denly torn from him, in the very prime of her life, 
and in the midst of her felicity. I dreaded the effects 
of it upon a mind of his nice and delicate sensibility ; 
and, receiving a letter from his brother, requesting 
me to come to them, I hastened thither, to endea- 
vour, by my presence, to assuage his grief, and pre- 
vent those fatal consequences, of which I was so ap- 

As I approached the house, the sight of all the 
well-known scenes brought fresh into my mind the 
remembrance of Amelia ; and I felt myself but ill 
qualified to act the part of a comforter. When my 
carriage stopped at the gate, I trembled, and would 
have given the world to go back. A heart-feJt sorrow 
sat on the countenance of every servant; and I walked 
into the house, without a word being uttered. In 
the hall I was met by the old butler, who has grown 
gray -headed in the family, and he hastened to con- 
duct me up stairs. As I walked up, I commanded 
firmness enough to say, " Well, William, how is 
Mr. Wentworth V The old man, turning about with 


a look that pierced my heart, said, " Oh, Sir, our 
excellent lady I" Here his grief overwhelmed 
him ; and it was with difficulty he was able to open 
to me the door of the apartment. 

Mr. Wentworth ran and embraced me with the 
warmest affection, and, after a few moments, assum- 
ed a firmness, and even an ease, that surprised me. 
His brother, with a sister . of Amelia's, and some 
other friends that were in the room, appeared more 
overpowered than my friend himself, who, by the 
fortitude of his behaviour, seemed rather to mode- 
rate the grief of those around him, than to demand 
their compassion for himself. By his gentle and kind 
attentions, he seemed anxious to relieve their sorrow, 
and, by a sort of concerted tranquillity, strove to 
prevent their discovering any symptoms of the bitter 
anguish which preyed upon his mind. His counte- 
nance was pale, and his eyes betrayed that his heart 
was ill at ease ; but it was that silent and majestic 
sorrow which commands our reverence and our ad- 

Next morning after breakfast I chanced to take up 
a volume of Metastatio, that lay amongst other books 
upon a table ; and, as I was turning over the leaves, 
a slip of paper, with something written on it, dropped 
upon the floor. Mr. Wentworth picked it up ; and, 
as he looked at it, I saw the tears start into his eyes, 
and, fetching a deep sigh, he uttered, in a low and 
broken voice, " My poor Amelia !" — It was a trans- 
lation of a favourite passage which she had been at- 
tempting, but had left unfinished. As if uneasy lest 
I had perceived his emotion, he carelessly threw his 
arm over my shoulder, and reading aloud a few lines 
of the page which I held open in my hand, he went 
into some remarks on the poetry of that elegant au- 
thor. Some time after, I observed him take up the 
book, and carefully replacing the slip of paper where 
it had been, put the volume in his pocket. 


Mr. Wentworth proposed that we should walk out, 
and that he himself would accempany us. As we 
stepped through the hall, one of my friend's youngest 
boys came running up, and catching his papa by the 
hand, cried out with joy, that, " Mamma's Rover 
" was returned." This was a spaniel, who had been 
the favourite of Amelia, and had followed her in all 
her walks ; but, after her death, had been sent to the 
house of a villager, to be out of the immediate sight 
of the family. Having somehow made its escape 
from thence, the dog had that morning found his way 
home ; and, as soon as he saw Mr. Wentworth, 
leaped upon him with an excess of fondness. I saw 
my friend's lips and cheeks quiver. He catched his 
little Frank in his arms ; and, for a few moments, 
hid his face in his neck. 

As we traversed his delightful grounds, many dif- 
ferent scenes naturally recalled the remembrance of 
Amelia. My friend, indeed, in order to avoid some 
of her favourite walks, had conducted us to an unusual 
road ; but what corner could be found, that did not 
bear the trace of her hand ? Her elegant taste had 
marked the peculiar beauty of each different scene, 
and had brought it forth to view with such a happy 
delicacy of art, as to make it seem the work of na- 
ture alone. As we crossed certain paths in the woods, 
and passed by some rustic buildings, I could some- 
times discern an emotion in my friend's countenance ; 
but he instantly stifled it with a firmness and dignity 
Chat made me careful not to seem to observe it. 

Towards night, Mr. Wentworth having stolen out 
of the room, his brother and I stepped out to a ter- 
race behind the house. It was the dusk of the even- 
ing, the air was mild and serene, and the moon was 
rising in all her brightness from the cloud of the east. 
The fineness of the night made us extend our walk, 
and we strayed into a hollow valley, whose sides are 
covered with trees overhanging a brook that pours 

tol. i. x 



itself along over broken rocks. We approached a 
rustic grotto placed in a sequestered corner under 
a half-impending rock. My companion stopped, 
" This," said he, " was one of Amelia's walks, and 
" that grotto was her favourite evening retreat. The 
" last night she ever walked out, and the very 
" evening she caught that fatal fever, I was with my 
" brother and her, while we sat and read to each 
" other in that very place." While he spoke, we 
perceived a man steal out of the grotto, and avoid- 
ing us, take his way by a path through a thicket of 
trees on the other side. « It is my brother," said 
young Wentworth ; " he has been here in his Ame- 
u lia's favourite grove, indulging that grief he so 
" carefully conceals from us." 

We returned to the house, and found Mr. Went- 
worth with the rest of the company. He forced on 
some conversation, and even affected a degree of gen- 
tle pleasantry during the whole evening. 

Such, in short, is the noble deportment of my 
friend, that, in place of finding it necessary to tem- 
per and moderate his grief, 1 must avoid seeming to 
perceive it, and dare scarcely appear even to think 
of the heavy calamity which has befallen him. I 
too well know what he feels ; but the more I know 
this, the more does the dignity of his recollection 
and fortitude excite my admiration, and command 
my silent attention and respect. 

How very different is this dignified and reserved 
sorrow from that weak and teasing grief which dis- 
gusts, by its sighs and tears, and clamorous lamen- 
tions ? How much does such noble fortitude of de- 
portment call forth our regard and reverence ? How 
much is a character, in other respects estimable, 
degraded by a contrary demeanour ? How much does 
the excessive, the importunate, and unmanly grief of 
Cicero, diminish the very high respect which we 
should otherwise entertain for the exalted character 
of that illustrious Roman ? 


Writers on practical morality have described and 
analized the passion of grief, and have pretended to 
prescribe remedies for restoring the mind to tran- 
quillity ; but, I believe, little benefit has been derived 
from any thing they have advised. To tell a person 
in grief, that time will relieve him, is truly applying 
no remedy ; and, to bid him reflect how many others 
there may be who are more wretched, is a very in- 
efficacious one. The truth is, that the excess of this, 
as well as of other passions, must be prevented rather 
than cured. It must be obviated, by our attaining 
that erenness and equality of temper, which can 
arise only from an improved understanding, and an 
habitual intercourse with refined society. These 
will not, indeed, exempt us from the pangs of sor- 
row, but will enable us to bear them with a noble 
grace and propriety, and will render the presence of 
our friends (which is the only remedy) a very effec- 
tual cure. 

This is well explained by a philosopher, who is no 
less eloquent than he is profound. He justly ob- 
serves, that we naturally on all occasions, endeavour 
to bring down our own passions to that pitch which 
those about us can correspond with. We view our- 
selves in the light in which we think they view us, 
and seek to suit our behaviour to what we think their 
feelings can go along with. With an intimate friend, 
.acquainted with every circumstance of our situation, 
we can, in some measure, give way to our grief, but 
are more calm than when by ourselves. Before a 
common acquaintance, we assume a greater sedate- 
ness. Before a mixed assembly, we affect a still 
more considerable degree of composure. Thus, by 
the company of our friends at. first, and afterwards, 
by mingling with society, we come to suit our de- 
portment to what we think they will approve of ; we 
gradually abate the violence of our passion, and re- 
store our mind to its wonted tranquillity. 



Currit ad Indos 
Pauperiem fugiens. Hor. 

" AND did you not blush for our countrymen ?" 
said Mr. Umphraville to Colonel Plumb, as the latter 
was describing the sack of an Indian city, and the 
plunder of its miserable inhabitants, with the death 
of a Raja who had gallantly defended it. 

" Not at all, Sir," answered the Colonel coolly ; 
* our countrymen did no more than their duty ; and, 
" were we to decline performing it on such ccca- 
u sions, we should be of little service to our country 
" in India." 

Mr. Umphraville made no answer to this defence ; 
but a silent indignation, which sat upon his counte- 
nance, implied a stronger disapprobation of it than 
the most laboured reply he could have offered. 

For the same reason which induced him to avoid 
any farther discussion of the subject, my friend en- 
deavoured to give the conversation a different turn. 
He led the Colonel into a description of the country 
of India ; and, as that gentleman described in very 
lively colours the beauty of its appearance, the num- 
ber of its people, and the variety and richness of its 
productions, Mr. Umphraville listened to this part of 
his discourse with an uncommon degree of pleasure 
and attention. 

But, after the Colonel's departure, (for this con- 
yersation happened during one of my excursions to 
Mr. Umphraville's, where Colonel Plumb had been 
on a visit,) the former part of the conversation re- 
curred immediately to my friend's memory, and pro- 
duced the following reflections. 

" I know not," said he, " a more mortifying proof 
" of human weakness, than that power which situa- 


« tion and habit acquire over principle and feeling, 
" even in men of the best natural dispositions. 

" The gentleman who has just left us, has derived 
" from nature a more than ordinary degree of good 
" sense. Nor does she seem to have been less libe- 
" ral to him in the affections of the heart than in the 
" powers of the understanding. 

" Since his return to this country, Colonel Plumb 
" has acted the part of an affectionate and generous 
" relation, of an attentive and useful friend ; he has 
" been an indulgent landlord, a patron of the indus- 
" trious, and a support to the indigent. In a word, 
" he has proved a worthy and useful member of so- 
" ciety, on whom fortune seems not to have mis- 
" placed her favours. 

" Yet, with all the excellent dispositions of which 
" these are proofs. — placed as a soldier of fortune in 
" India ; inflamed with the ambition of amassing 
" wealth ; corrupted by the contagious example of 
" others governed by the same passion, and engaged 
" in the same pursuit ; Colonel Plumb appears to 
« have been little under the influence either of jus- 
" tice or humanity ; he seems to have viewed the 
" unhappy people of that country merely as the in- 
" struments, which, in one way or other, were to 
" furnish himself and his countrymen with that wealth 
w they had gone so far in quest of. 

" If these circumstances could operate so strongly 
* on such a man as Colonel Plumb, we have little 
« reason to wonder that they should have carried 
" others of our countrymen to still more lamentable 
« excesses ; that they should have filled that unhap- 
u py country with scenes of misery and oppression, 
" of which the recital fills us with equal shame and 
« indignation. Yet such examples as that. of the 
" Colonel should perhaps dispose us, in place of vio- 
" lently declaiming against the conduct of individuals, 
44 to investigate the causes by which it is produced. 
k 2. 


" The conquests of a commercial people, have 
'• always, I believe, proved uncommonly destruc- 
" tive ; and this might naturally have been expected 
" of those made by our countrymen in India, under 
" the direction of a mercantile society, conducted by 
" its members in a distant country, in a climate fatal 
" to European constitutions, which they visit only for 
" the purpose of suddenly amassing riches, and from 
" which they are anxious to return as soon as that 
" purpose is accomplished. 

" How far such a company, whose original connec- 
" tion with India was merely the prosecution of their 
" private commerce, should have ever been allowed 
w to assume, and should still continue to possess, the 
" unnatural character of sovereigns and conquerors, 
" and to conduct the government of a great empire, 
" is a point which may, perhaps, merit the attention 
" of the legislature as much as many of the more 
" minute inquiries in which they have of late been 
" engaged. 

" I have often thought how much our superior 
" knowledge in the art of government might enable 
" us to change the condition of that unfortunate coun- 
" try for the better. I have pleased myself with 

* fondly picturing out the progress of such a plan ; 
u with fancying I saw the followers of Mahomet lay 
u aside their ferocity and ambition ; the peaceful di- 
" sciples of Brahma, happy in the security of a good 

* government, and in the enjoyment of those inno- 
" cent and simple manners which mark the influence 
« of a fruitful climate, and a beneficent religion. — 
" But, alas !" continued Mr. Umphraville, with a 
sigh, " such reformations are more easily effected 
" by me in my elbow-chair, than by those who con- 
« duct the great and complicated machine of govern- 

* ment. 

« I wish," added he, " it may be only the contract- 
« ed yiew of things natural to a retired old man > 


" which leads me to fear that, in this country, the 

" period of such reformations is nearly past ; when 

" I observe, that almoat all men regulate their con- 

" duct, and form the minds of the rising generation 

" by this maxim, 

Quxrenda pecunia prima est, 
Virtus post Nummos ; 

" I cannot but apprehend, from the prevalence of so 
" mean and so corrupt a principle, the same na- 
M tional corruption which the Roman poet ascribes 
" to it. 

" In the lower ranks, the desire of gain, as it is the 
" source of industry , may be held equally conducive to 
" private happiness and public prosperity ; but those 
u who, by birth or education, are destined for nobler 
" pursuits, should be actuated by more generous pas- 
" sions. If from luxury, and the love of vain expence, 
" they also shall give way to this desire of wealth ; 
" if it shall extinguish the sentiments of public vir- 
" tue, and the passion for true glory, natural to that 
" order of the state ; the spring of private and of 
u national honour must have lost its force, and there 
" will remain nothing to withstand the general cor- 
" ruption of manners, and the public disorder and 
" debility which are its inseparable attendants. If 
" our country has not already reached this point of 
" degeneracy, she seems, at least, as far as a spec- 
" tator of her manners can judge, to be too fast ap- 
u proaching it." 

Somewhat in this manner did Mr. Umphraville ex- 
press himself. Living retired in the country, con- 
versing with few arid ignorant of the opinions of th« 
many ; attached to ideas of family, and not very fond 
of the mercantile interest ; disposed to give praise to 
former times, and not to think highly of the present ; 
in his apprehension of facts he is often mistaken, and 


the conclusions he draws from those facts are often 
erroneous. In the present instance, the view which 
I have presented of his opinions, may throw further 
light upon his character ; it gives a striking picture 
both of the candour of his mind, and of the genero- 
sity of his sentiments. His opinions, though errone- 
ous, may be useful ; they may remind those, who, 
endued, like Colonel Plumb, with good dispositions, 
are in danger of being seduced by circumstances and 
situation, that our own interest or ambition is never 
to be pursued but in consistency with the sacred obli- 
gations of justice, humanity, and benevolence ; and 
they may afford a very pleasing source of reflection 
to others, who, in trying situations, have maintained 
their virtue and their character untainted. 


Conciliat animos comitas affabilitasque sermonis. Ci«, 

POLITENESS, or the external shew of humanity, 
has been strongly recommended by some, and has 
been treated with excessive ridicule by others. It 
has sometimes been represented, very improperly, as 
constituting the sum of merit : and thus affectation 
and grimace have been substituted in place of virtue. 
There are, on the other hand, persons who cover 
their own rudeness, and justify gross rusticity, by 
calling their conduct honest bluntness, and by defam- 
ing complacent manners, as fawning or hypocritical. 
Shakespeare, in his King Lear, sketches this cha- 
racter with his usual ability. 


This is some fellow 
Who having been prais'd for bluntness, doth affect 
A saucy roughness, and constrains the garb 
Quite from his nature. He can't flatter, he, 
An honest mind and plain, he must speak truth, 
And they will take it so ; if not, he's plain. 

To extol polished external manners as constituting 
the whole duty of man, or declaim against them as 
utterly inconsistent with truth, and the respect we 
owe to ourselves, are extremes equally to be avoided. 
Let no one believe that the show of humanity is equal 
to the reality : nor let any one, from the desire of 
pleasing, depart from the line of truth, or stoop 
to mean condescension. But to presume favourably 
of all men ; to consider them as worthy of our re- 
gard till we have evidence of the contrary ; to be in- 
clined to render them services ; and to entertain con- 
fidence in their inclinations to follow a similar con- 
duct ; constitute a temper, which every man, for his 
own peace, and for the peace of society, ought to 
improve and exhibit. Now, this is the temper essen- 
tial to polished manners ; and the external show of 
civilities is a banner held forth, announcing to all men, 
that we hold them in due respect, and are disposed 
to oblige them. Besides, it will often occur, that we 
may have the strongest conviction of worth in another 
person ; that we may be disposed, from gratitude or 
esteem, to render him suitable services ; and yet may 
have no opportunity of testifying, by those actions, 
which are their genuine expressions, either that con- 
viction, or that disposition. Hence external courte- 
sies and civilities are substituted, with great proprie- 
ty, as signs and representatives of those actions which 
we are desirous, and have not the power of perform- 
ing. They are to be held as pledges of our esteem 
and affection. 

" But the man of courtly manners often puts on a 
" placid and smiling semblance, while his heart ran- 


u kles with malignant passion." — When this is dono 
with an intention to deceive or ensnare mankind, the 
conduct is perfidious, and ought to be branded with 
infamy. In that case, the law of courtesy is " more 
" honoured in the breach than in the observance." 
But there may be another situation, when the show 
of courtesy assumed, while the heart is ill at ease 
moved by disagreeable unkindly feelings, would be 
unjustly censured. — From a feeble constitution of 
body, bad health, or some untoward accident or dis- 
appointment, you lose your wonted serenity. Influ- 
enced by your present humour, even to those who 
have no concern in the accident that hath befallen you, 
and who would really be inclined to relieve you from 
your uneasiness, you become reserved and splenetic. 
You know the impropriety of such a demeanour, and 
endeavour to beget in your bosom a very different 
disposition. Your passions, however, are stubborn ; 
images of wrong and of disappointment have taken 
strong hold of your fancy ; and your present disa- 
greeable and painful state of mind cannot easily be re- 
moved. Meanwhile, however, you disguise the ap- 
pearance ; you are careful to let no fretful expression 
be uttered, nor any malignant thought lour in your 
aspect ; you perform external acts of civility, and as- 
sume the tones and the language of the most perfect 
composure. You thus war with your own spirit ; 
and, by force of commanding the external symp- 
toms, you will gain a complete victory. You will 
actually establish in your mind that good humour and 
humanity, which, a little before, were only yours in 
appearance. Now, in this discipline, there is nothing 
criminal. — In this discipline, there is a great deal of 
merit. It will not only correct and alter our present 
humours, but may influence our habits and dispo- 

A contrary practice may be attended, if not with 
dangerous, at least with disagreeable consequences. 


Sir Gregory Blunt was the eldest son of a re- 
spectable family. His fortune and his ancestry unti- 
tled him, as he and his friends apprehended, to appear 
in any shape that he pleased. He owed, and would 
owe, no man a shilling ; but other men might be in- 
debted to him. He received from nature, and still 
possesses, good abilities, and humane dispositions, 
lie is a man, too, of inflexible honour. Yet Sir Gre- 
gory has an unbending cast of mind, that cannot ea- 
sily be fashioned into soft compliance and condescen- 
sion. He never, even at an early period, had any 
pretensions to winning ways, or agreeable assiduities. 
Nor had he any talent for acquiring personal graces 
and accomplishments. In every thing that confers 
the easy and engaging air of a gentleman, he was 
excelled by his companions. Sir Gregory had sense 
enough to perceive his own incapacity ; vanity enough 
to be hurt with the preferences shewn to young men 
less able or honest, but more complaisant than him- 
self ; and pride enough to cast away all pretensions 
to that smoothness of demeanour in which he could 
never excel. Thus, he assumed a bluntness and 
roughness of manners, better suited to the natural 
cast of his temper. He would be plain ; he hated 
all your smiling and fawning attentions ; he would 
speak what he thought ; he would 'praise no man, 
even though he thought him deserving, because he 
scorned to appear a flatterer ; and he would promise 
no man good offices, not even though he meant to 
perform them, because he abhorred ostentation. Ac- 
cordingly, in his address, he is often abrupt, with an 
approach to rudeness, which, if it does not offend, 
disconcerts : and he will not return a civility, because 
he is not in the humour. He thus indulges a pro- 
pensity which he ought to have corrected ; and, slave 
to a surly vanity, he thinks he acts upon principle. 

Now, this habit not only renders him disagreeable 
to persons of polished manners, but may be attended 


with consequences of a more serious nature. Sir 
Gregory does not perceive, that, while he thinks he 
is plain, he only affects to be plain ; that he often sti- 
fles a kindly feeling, for fear of seeming complaisant; 
that " he constrains the garb quite from his nature ;" 
and, that he disguises his appearance as much at least 
by excessive bluntness, as he would by shewing some 
complaisance. Thus, he is hardly intitled, notwith- 
standing his pretensions, to the praise even of honest 
plainness. Besides, his character, in other respects, 
is so eminent, and his rank so distinguished, that, of 
course, he has many admirers : and thus all the 
young men of his neighbourhood are becoming as 
boisterous and as rough as himself. Even some of 
his female acquaintance are likely to suffer by the con- 
tagion of his example. Their desire of pleasing has 
taken an improper direction ; they seem less studious 
of those delicate proprieties and observances so es- 
sential to female excellence ; they also will not ap- 
pear otherwise than what they are ; and thus they 
will not only appear, but become a great deal worse. 
For, as the shew of humanity and good humour may, 
in some instances, promote a gentle temper, and ren- 
der us good humoured ; so the affectation and shew 
of honest plainness may lead us to be plain without 
honesty, and sincere without good intention. Those 
who affect timidity may, in time, become cowards ; 
and those who affect roughness may, in time, grow 

To the Author of the Mirror. 


I HAVE long had a tendre for a young lady, who 
is very beautiful, but a little capricious. 1 think my- 
self unfortunate enough not to be in her good graces ; 
but some of my friends tell me I am a simpleton, and 
don't understand her. Pray be so kind as to inform 


me, Mr. Mirror, what sort of rudeness amounts to 
encouragement. When a lady calls a man imper- 
tinent, does she wish him to be somewhat more as- 
suming ? When she never looks his way, may he 
reckon himself a favourite ? Or, if she tells every 
body, that Mr. Such-a-one is her aversion, is Mr. 
Such-a-one to take it for granted that she is down- 
right fond of him ? 

Yours, respectfully, 



IT has sometimes been a matter of speculation, 
whether or not there be a sex in the soul ; that there 
is one in manners, I never heard disputed ; the same 
applause which we involuntary bestow upon honour, 
courage, and spirit, in men, we as naturally confer 
upon chastity, modesty, and gentleness, in women. 

It was formerly one of those national boasts which 
are always allowable, and sometimes useful, that the 
ladies of Scotland possessed a purity of conduct, and 
delicacy of manners, beyond those of most other coun- 
tries. Free from the bad effects of overgrown for- 
tunes, and of the dissipated society of an overgrown 
capital, their beauty was natural, and their minds 
were uncorrupted. 

Though I am inclined to believe that this is still 
the case, in general ; yet, from my own observation, 
and the complaints of several correspondents, I am 
sorry to be obliged to conclude, that there begins to 
appear among us a very different style of manners. 
Perhaps our frequent communication with the metro- 
polis of our siste'r kingdom is one great cause of this. 

VOL. i. o 


Formerly a London journey was attended with some 
difficulty and danger, and posting thither was an at- 
chievement as masculine as a fox-chace. Now the 
goodness of the roads, and the convenience of the 
vehicles, render it a matter of only a few days mode- 
rate exercise for a lady ; " Facilis descensus Averni :" 
cur wives and daughters are carried thither to see 
the world ; and we are not to wonder if some of them 
bring back only that knowledge of it which the most 
ignorant can acquire, and the most forgetful retain. 
That knowledge is communicated, to a certain circle, 
on their return : the imitation is as rapid as it is easy ; 
they emulate the English, who before have copied the 
French ; the dress, the phrase, and the morale of 
Paris, is transplanted first to London, and thence to 
Edinburgh ; and even the sequestered regions of the 
country are sometimes visited in this northern pro- 
gress of politeness. 

And here I cannot help observing, that the imita- 
tion is often so clumsy, as to leave out all the agree- 
able, and retain all the offensive. In the translation 
of the manners, as in the translation of the language 
of our neighbours, we are apt to lose the finesses, the 
" petits agrements," which (I talk like a man of the 
world) give zest and value to the whole. 

It will be said, perhaps, that there is often a levity 
of behaviour without any criminality of conduct ; that 
the lady who talks always loud, and sometimes free, 
goes much abroad, or keeps a croud of company at 
home, rattles in a public place with a circle ol young 
fellows, or flirts in a corner with a single one ; does 
all this without the smallest bad intention, merely as 
she puts on a cap, and sticks it with feathers, because 
she has seen it done by others whose rank and fashion 
intitle them to her imitation. Now, granting that 
most of those ladies have all the purity of heart that 
is contended for, are there no disagreeable conse- 
quences, I would ask, from the appearance of evil, 


exclusive of its reality ? Decorum is at least the en- 
sign, if not the outguard of virtue : the want of it, 
if it does not weaken the garrison, will, at least, em- 
bolden the assailants ; and a woman's virtue is of so 
delicate a nature, that, to be impregnable is not 
enough, without the reputation of being so. 

But, though female virtue, in the singular, means 
chastity, there are many other endowments, without 
which a woman's character is reproachable, though 
it is not infamous. The mild demeanour, the modest 
deportment, are valued not only as they denote inter- 
nal purity and innocence, but as forming in them- 
selves the most amiable and engaging part of the 
female character. There was, of old, a stiff con- 
strained manner, which the moderns finding unplea- 
sant, agreed to explode, and, in the common rage of 
reformation, substituted the very opposite extreme 
in its stead ; to banish preciseness, they called in 
levity, and ceremony gave way to something like 
rudeness. But fashion may alter the form, not the 
essence of things ; and, though we may lend our 
laugh, or even our applause, to the woman whose 
figure and conversation comes flying out upon us in 
this fashionable forwardness of manner ; yet, I be- 
lieve, there is scarce a votary of the mode who would 
Wish his sister, his wife, or even his mistress, (I use 
the word in its modest sense,) to possess it. 

I have hitherto pointed my observations chiefly at 
the appearance of our ladies to the world, which, 
besides its being more immediately the object of pub- 
lic censorship, a variety of strictures lately sent me 
by my correspondents naturally led me to consider. 
I am afraid, however, the same innovation begins to 
appear in our domestic, as in our public life, that 
the case of my friend Mr. Homespun, is far from 
being singular. Some of those whose rank and sta- 
tion are such as to enforce example, and regulate 
opinion, think it an honourable distinction to be able 


to lead, from the sober track which the maxims of 
their mothers and grandmothers had marked out for 
them, such young ladies as chance, relationship, or 
neighbourhood, has placed within the reach of their 
influence. The state of diffidence and dependence, 
in which a young woman used to find herself happy 
under the protection of her parents or guardians, they 
teach their pupils to consider as incompatible with 
sense or spirit. With them obedience and subordi- 
nation are terms of contempt ; even the natural re- 
straints of time are disregarded ; childhood is imma- 
turely forced into youth, and youth assumes the con- 
fidence and self-government of age ; domestic duties 
are held to be slavish, and domestic enjoyments in- 

There is an appearance of brilliancy in the plea- 
sures of high life and fashion, which naturally daz- 
zles and seduces the young and inexperienced. But, 
let them not believe that the scale of fortune is the 
standard of happiness, or the whirl of pleasure which 
their patronesses describe productive of the satisfac- 
tion which they affect to enjoy in it. Could they trace 
its course through a month, a week, or a day, of 
that life which they enjoy, they will find it commonly 
expire in langour, or end in disappointment. They 
would see the daughters of fashion in a state the most 
painful of any, obliged to cover hatred with the smile 
of friendship, and anguish with the appearance of 
gaiety ; they would see the mistress of the feast, or 
the directress of the rout, at the table, or in the 
drawing-room, in the very scene of her pride, torn 

with those jarring passions which but I will not 

talk like a moralist which make duchesses mean, 

and the finest women in the world ugly. I do them 
no injustice ; for I state this at the time of possession ; 
its value in reflection I forbear to estimate. 

If I dared to contrast this with a picture of do- 
mestic pleasure : were I to exhibit a family virtuous 

THE MIRROR. 1 5 1 

and happy, where affection takes place of duty, and 
obedience is enjoyed, not exacted ; where the happi- 
ness of every individual is reflected upon the society, 
and a certain tender solicitude about each other, gives 
a more delicate sense of pleasure than any enjoyment 
merely selfish can produce ; could I paint them in 
their little circles of business or of amusement, of 
sentiment, or of gaiety, — I am persuaded the scene 
would be too venerable for the most irreverent to de- 
ride, and its happiness too apparent for the most dis- 
sipated to deny. Yet to be the child or mother of 
such a family, is often foregone for the miserable 
vanity of aping some woman, weak as she is worth- 
less, despised in the midst of flattery, and wretched 
in the very centre of dissipation. 

I have limited this remonstrance to motives merely 
temporal, because I am informed, some of our high- 
bred females deny the reality of any other. This 
refinement of infidelity is one of those new acquire- 
ments which, till of late, were altogether unknown 
to the ladies of this country, and which I hope very, 
very few of them are yet possessed of. I mean not 
to dispute the solidity of their system, as I am per- 
suaded they have studied the subject deeply, and un- 
der very able and learned masters. 1 would only 
take the liberty of hinting the purpose for which, I 
have been told, by some fashionable men, such doc- 
trines have frequently been taught. It seems, it is 
understood by the younger class of our philosophers, 
that a woman never thinks herself quite alone, till 
she has put God out of the way, as well as her hus- 


• s 



Fcrtemque Gyan, fortemque Cleanthura. Viug. 

THERE is hardly any species of writing more 
difficult than that of drawing characters ; and hence 
it is that so few authors have excelled in it. Among 
those writers who have confined themselves merely 
to this sort of composition, Theophrastus holds the 
first place among the ancients, and La Bruyer among 
the moderns. But, beside those who have profes- 
sedly confined themselves to the delineation of cha- 
racter, every historian who relates events, and who 
describes the disposition and qualities of the persons 
engaged in them, is to be considered as a writer of 

There are two methods by which a character may 
be delineated, and different authors have, more or 
less, adopted the one or the other. A character may 
either be given by describing the internal feelings of 
the mind, and by relating the qualities with which 
the person is endowed ; or, without mentioning in 
general the internal qualities which he possesses, an 
account may be given of his external conduct, of his 
behaviour on this or that occasion, and how he was 
affected by this or that event. 

An author who draws characters in the first man- 
ner, employs those words that denote the general 
qualities of the mind ; and by means of these he 
gives a description and view of the character. He 
passes over the particular circumstances of behaviour 
and conduct which lead to the general conclusion 
with regard to the character, and gives the conclu- 
sion itself. 

But an author who draws characters in the other 
manner above alluded to, instead of giving the gene- 
ral conclusion deduced from the observation of parti- 


cular circumstances of conduct, gives a view of the 
particulars themselves, and of the external conduct 
of the person whose character he wishes to repre- 
sent, leaving his readers to form their own conclu- 
sion from that view which he has given. Of the two 
authors I have mentioned, each excels in one of those 
opposite manners. In every instance I can recollect, 
excepting the extravagant picture of the absent man, 
La Bruyer lays before his readers the internal feel 
ings of the character he wishes to represent ; while 
Theophrastus gives the action which the internal feel- 
ings produce. 

Of these different modes of delineating characters, 
each has its peculiar advantages. The best method 
of giving a full and comprehensive view of the dif- 
ferent parts of a character, may be by a general enu- 
meration of the qualities of mind with which the 
person is endowed. At the same time, however, it 
is, perhaps, impossible, to mark the nice and delicate 
shades of character, without bringing the image 
more fully before the eye, and placing the person in 
that situation which calls him forth into action. 

In these two different manners, there are faults into 
which authors, following the one or the other, are apt 
to fall, and which they should studiously endeavour 
to avoid. An author who gives the internal qualities 
of the character, should guard against being too ge- 
neral : he who gives views of the conduct, and re- 
presents the actions themselves, should avoid being 
too particular. When the internal qualities of the 
mind are described^ they may be expressed in such 
vague and general terms, as to lay before the reader 
no marked distinguishing feature ; when, again, in 
the views which are given of the conduct, the detail 
is too particular, the author is apt to tire by becoming 
tedious, or to disgust by being trifling or familiar, or 
by approaching to vulgarity. Some of our most ce- 
lebrated historians have committed errors of the first 



sort ; when, at the end of a reign, or at the exit o 
a hero, they draw the character of the ldug, or great 
man, and tell their readers, that the person they are 
taking leave of was brave, generous, just, humane ; 
or the tyrant they have been declaiming against, was 
cruel, haughty, jealous, deceitful; these general qua- 
lities are so little distinguishing, that they may be 
applied, almost, to any very good, or very bad man, 
in the history. When, on the other hand, an author, 
in order to give a particular view of the person of 
whom he writes, tells his readers, what such person 
did before, and what after dinner ; what before, and 
what after he slept; if his vivacity prevent him from 
appearing tedious, he will at least be in danger of 
displeasing by the appearance of vulgarity or affec- 

It may be proper here to observe, that, in making 
a right choice of the different manners in which a 
character may be -drawn, much depends upon the 
subject, or design of the author ; one method may 
be more suited to one kind of composition than to 
another. Thus the author who confines himself 
merely to drawing characters, the historian who 
draws a character arising only from, or illustrating 
the events he records, or the novelist who delineates 
characters by feigned circumstances and situations, 
have each their several objects, and different manners 
may be properly adopted by each of them. Writers, 
such as Theophrastus and La Bruyer, take for their 
object a character governed by some one pass-on, 
absorbing all others, and influencing the man in every 
thing ; the miser, the epicure, the drunkard, &c. 
The business of the historian is more difficult and 
more extensive ; he takes the complicated charac- 
ters in real life ; he must give a view of every dis- 
tinguishing characteristic of the personage, the good 
and the bad, the fierce and the gentle, all the strange 
diversities which life presents. 


Novel writers ought, like the professed writers of 
character, to have it generally in view to illustrate 
some one distinguishing feature or passion of the 
mind ; but then they have it in their power, by the 
assistance of story, and by inventing circumstances 
and situation, to exhibit its leading features in every 
possible point of view. The great error, indeed, into 
which novel writers commonly fall is, that they at- 
tend more to the story and to the circumstances they 
relate, than to giving new and just views of the cha- 
racter of the person they present. Their general 
method is to affix names to certain personages, whom 
they introduce to their readers, whom they lead 
through dangers and distresses, or exhibit in circum- 
stances of ridicule, without having it in view to illus- 
trate any one predominant or leading principle of the 
human heart ; without making their readers one bit 
better acquainted with the characteristic features of 
those persons at the end of the story than at the be- 
ginning. Hence there are so few novels which give 
lasting pleasure, or can bear to be perused oftener 
than once. From tke surprize or interest occasioned 
by the novelty of the events, they may carry their 
readers once through them ; but, as they do not il- 
lustrate any of the principles of the mind, or give 
any interesting views of character, they raise no de- 
sire for a second perusal, and ever after lie neglected 
on the shelf. 

How very different from these are the novels, which, 
in place of reiving upon the mere force of incident, 
bring the characters of their personages fully before 
us, paint all their shades and attitudes, and, by mak- 
ing us, as it were, intimately acquainted with them, 
deeply engage our hearts in every circumstance which 
can affect them ? This happy talent of delineating 
with truth and delicacy all the features and nice tints 
of human character, never fails to delight, and will 
often atone for many defects. It is this which ren- 


ders Richardson so interesting, in spite of his im- 
measurable tediousness : it is this which will render 
Fielding ever delightful, notwithstanding the indeli- 
cate coarseness with which he too often offends us. 


HAPPINESS has been compared, by one of my 
predecessors, to a game ; and he has prescribed cer- 
tain rules to be followed by the players. These, in- 
deed, are more necessary than one might suppose at 
first sight ; this game, like most others, being as often 
lost by bad play, as by ill-luck. The circumstances I 
am placed in, some of which I communicated to my 
readers in my introductory paper, make me often a 
sort of looker-on at this game ; and, like all lookers- 
on, I think I discover blunders in the play of my 
neighbours, who frequently lose the advantages their 
fortune lays open to them. 

To chase the allusion a little farther, it is seldom 
that opportunities occur of brilliant strokes or deep 
calculation. With most of us, the ordinary little 
stake is all that is played for ; and he who goes on 
observing the common rules of the game, and keep- 
ing his temper in the reverses of it, will find himself 
a gainer at last. In plainer language, happiness, 
with the bulk of men, may be said to consist in the 
power of enjoying the ordinary pleasures of life, and 
in not being too easily hurt by the little disquietudes 
of it. There is a certain fineness of soul, and deli- 
cacy of sentiment, with which few situations accord, 
to which many seeming harmless ones give the great- 
est uneasiness. The art, " desipere in loco," (by 
which I understand being able not only to trifle, upon 
occasion, ourselves, but also to bear the foolery of 


others) is a qualification extremely useful for smooth- 
ing a man's way through the world. 

I have been led into this train of thinking, by some 
circumstances in a visit I had lately the pleasure of 
receiving from my friend Mr. Umphraville, with 
whom I made my readers acquaint d in some former 
numbers. A particular piece of business occurred, 
which made it expedient for him to coma to town ; 
and though he was, at first extremely averse from the 
journey, having never liked great towns, and now 
relishing them less than ever, yet the remonstrances 
of his man of business, aided by very urgent requests 
from me, at length overcame him. He set out, there- 
fore, attended by his old family servant John, whom 
I had not failed to remember in my invitation to his 

At the first stage on the road, John told me, his 
master looked sad, eat little, and spoke less. Though 
the landlord ushered in dinner in person, and gave 
his guest a very minute description of his manner of 
feeding his mutton, Mr. Umphraville remained a 
hearer only, and shewed no inclination to have him 
sit down and partake of his own dishes ; and, though 
he desired him, indeed, to taste the wine, of which 
he brought in a bottle after dinner, he told him, at 
the same time, to let the ostler know he should want 
his horses as soon as possible. The landlord left 
the room, and told John, who was eating his dinner, 
somewhat more deliberately, in the kitchen, that his 
master seemed a melancholy kind of a gentleman, 
not half so good-humoured as his neighbour Mr. 

John, who is interested both in the happiness and 
honour of his master, endeavoured to mend matters 
in the evening, by introducing the hostess very 
particularly to Mr. Umphraville ; and, indeed, ven- 
turing to invite her to sup with him. Umphra- 
ville was too shy, or too civil, to decline the lady's 


company, and John valued himself on having pro 
cured him so agreeable a companion His mas- 
ter complained to me since he came to town, of the 
oppression of this landlady's company ; and declared 
his resolution of not stopping at the George on his 
way home. 

The morning after his arrival at my house, while 
we were sitting together, talking of old stories, and 
old friends, with all the finer feelings about us, John 
entered, with a look of much satisfaction, announ- 
cing the name of Mr. Bearskin. This gentleman is 
a first cousin of Umphraville's, who resides in town, 
and whom he had not seen these six years. He 
was bred a mercer, but afterwards extended his deal- 
ings with his capital, and has been concerned in se- 
veral great mercantile transactions. While Umphra- 
ville, with all his genius, and all his accomplishments, 
was barely preserving his estate from ruin at home, 
this man, by dint of industry and application, and 
partly from the want of genius and accomplishments, 
has amassed a fortune greater than the richest of his 
cousin's ancestors was ever possessed of. He holds 
Umphraville in some respect, however, as the repre- 
sentative of his mother's family, from which he de- 
rives all his gentility, his father having sprung no- 
body knows whence, and lived nobody knows how, 
till he appeared behind the counter of a woollen dra- 
per, to whose shop and business he succeeded. 

My friend, though he could have excused his visit 
at this time, received him with politeness. He intro- 
duced him to me as his near relation : on which the 
other, who mixes the flippant civility of his former 
profession with somewhat of the monied confidence 
of his present one, made me a handsome compli- 
ment, and congratulated Mr. Umphraville on the 
possession of such a friend. He concluded, however, 
with a distant insinuation of his house's being a more 
natural home for his cousin when in town than that 


ef any other person. This led to a description of 
that house, its rooms and and its furniture, in which 
he made no inconsiderable eulogium on his own taste, 
the taste of his wife, and the taste of the times. 
Umphraville blushed, bit his lips, complained of the 
heat of the room, changed his seat, in short suffered 
torture all the way from the cellar to the garret. 

Mr. Bearskin closed this description of his house 
with an expression of his and his wife's earnest de- 
sire to see their cousin there. Umphraville declared 
his intention of calling to enquire after Mi's. Bear- 
skin and the young folks, mentioning, at the same 
time, the shortness of his proposed stay in town, and 
the hurry his business would necessarily keep him in 
while he remained. But this declaration by no 
means satisfied his kinsman ; he insisted on his 
spending a day with them so warmly, that the other 
was at last overcome, and the third day after was 
fixed on for that purpose, which Mr. Bearskin in- 
formed us would be the more agreeable to all parties, 
^as he should then have an opportunity of introducing 
us to his 1 oncion correspondent, a man of great for- 
tune, who had just arrived here on a jaunt to see the 
country, and had promised him the favour of eating 
a bit of mutton with him on that day. I would have 
excused myself from being of the party ; but not 
having, any more than Umphraville, a talent at refu- 
sal, was like him, overpowered by the solicitations of 
his cousin. 

The history of that dinner I may possibly give my 
reader- hereafter, in a separate paper, a dinner, now- 
a-day : being a matter, of consequence, and not to be 
mana ; in an episode. The time between was de- 
voted V. Umphraville to business, in which he 
was pi . nmonly to ask my advice, and to com- 
muuicate -inions. The last I found generally 
unfavourable of men and things; my friend 
carries the " pris :a fides" too much about with hint 

vol. i, p 


to be perfectly pleased in his dealings with people of 
business. When we returned home in the evening, 
he seemed to feel a relief in having got out of the 
reach of the world, and muttered expressions, not to 
mention the inflexions of his countenance, which, if 
fairly set down on paper, would almost amount to 
calling his banker a Jew, his lawyer not a gentleman, 
and his agent a pettifogger. He was, however, very 
ready to clap up a truce with his ideas when in com- 
pany with these several personages ; and though he 
thought he saw them taking advantages, of which I am 
persuaded they were perfectly innocent, he was con- 
tented to turn his face another way and pass on. A 
man of Umphraville's disposition, is willing to suf- 
ter all the penalties of silliness, but that of being 
thought silly. 


AMONG the many advantages arising from cul- 
tivated sentiment, one of the first and most truly va- 
luable, is that delicate complacency of mind which 
leads us to consult the feelings of those with whom 
we live, by shewing a disposition to gratify them as 
far as in our power, and by avoiding whatever has a 
contrary tendency. 

They must, indeed, have attended little to what 
passes in the world, who, do not know the importance 
of this disposition ; who havenpt observed, that the 
want of it often poisons the domestic happiness of fa- 
milies, whose felicity every other circumstance con- 
curs to promote. 

Among the letters lately received from my correspon- 
dents, are two, which, as they afford a lively picture 


of the bad consequences resulting from the neglect 
of this complacency, I shall here lay before my 
readers. The first is from a lady, who writes as fal- 
lows : 

To the Author of the Mirror, 


MY father was a merchant of some eminence, 
who gave me a good education, and a fortune of seve- 
ral thousand pounds. With these advantages, a to- 
lerable person, and I think not an unamiable temper, 
I was not long arrived at womanhood before I found 
myself possessed of many admirers. Among others 
was Mr. Gold, a gentleman of a very respectable 
character, who had some connections in trade with 
my father ; to him, being a young man of a good 
figure, and of very open and obliging manners, I soon 
gave the preference, and we were accordingly mar- 
ried with the universal approbation of my friends. 

We have now lived together above three years, 
and I have brought him two boys and a girl, all very- 
fine child? en. I go little abroad, attend to nothing 
so much as the economy of our family, am as oblig- 
ing as possible to all my husband's friendn, and study 
in every particular to be a kind and dutiful wife. Mr. 
Gold's reputation and success in business daily in- 
creases, and he is, in the main, a kind and attentive 
husband ; yet I find him so particular in his temper, 
and so often out of humour about trifles, that, in spite 
of all those comfortable circumstances, I am perfect- 
ly unhappy. 

At one time he finds fault with the dishes at table ; 
at another with the choice of my maid servants ; 
sometimes he is displeased with the trimming of my 
gown, sometimes with the shape of my cloak, or the 
figure of my head dress ; and should I chance to 
give an opinion on any subject which is not perfectly 


to his mind, he probably looks out of humour at the 
time, and is sure to chide me about it when we are 
by ourselves. 

It is of no consequence whether I have been right 
or wrong in any of those particulars. If I say a 
word in defence of my choice or opinion, it is sure 
to make matters worse, and I am only called a fool 
for my pains ; or, if I express my wonder that he 
should give himself uneasiness about such trifles, he 
answers, sullenly, that, to be sure, every thing is a 
trifle in which I chuse to disoblige him. 

It was but the other day, as we were just going 
cut to .dine at a friend's house, he told me my gown 
;was extremely ugly. I answered, his observation 
surprised me, for k was garnet, and I had taken it 
off on hearing him say he wondered I never chose 
one of that colour. Upon this he flew in a passion, 
said it was very odd I should charge my bad taste 
upon him ; he never made any such observation, for 
the colour was his aversion. The dispute at last 
grew so warm, that I threw myself down on a settee, 
unable to continue it, while he flung out of the room, 
ordered away the coach from the door, and wrote 
an apology to his friend for our not waiting upon 

We dined in cur different apartments; and though, 
I believe, we were equally sorry for what had passed, 
and Mr. Gold, when we met at supper, asked my 
pardon for having contradicted me so roughly ; yet 
we had not sat half an hour together, when he told 
me, that, after all, I was certainly mistaken, in say- 
ing he had recommended a garnet colour ; and when 
I very coolly assured him I was not, he renewed the 
dispute with as much keenness as ever. We parted 
in the same bad humour we had done before 
dinner, and I have hardly had a pleasant look frcm 
him since. 


In a word, Mr. Gold will allow me to have no mind 
but his ; and, unless I can see with his eyes, hear 
with his ears, and taste with his palate, (none of which 
I can very easily bring myself to do, as you must 
know all of them are somewhat particular) I see no 
prospect of our situation changing for the better ; 
and what makes our present one doubly provoking, 
is, that, but for this unfortunate weakness, Mr. Gold, 
who is, in other respects, a very worthy man, would 
make one of the best of husbands. 

Pray tell me, Sir, what I should do in this situa- 
tion, or take your own way of letting my husband see 
his weakness, the reformation of which would be the 
greatest of all earthly blessings to 
Yours, Sec. 

Susannah Gold. 

I was thinking how I should answer this letter, or 
in what way I could be useful to my correspondent, 
when I received the followiag, the insertion of which 
is, I believe, the best reply I can make to it. 

To the Author of the Mirror. 

Sir, i 

I WAS bred a merchant ; by my success in trade 
I am now in affluent circumstances, and have reason 
to think that I am so with an unblemished character. 

Some years ago, I married the daughter of a re- 
spectable citizen, who brought a comfortable addition 
to my fortune ; and, as she had been virtuously edu- 
cated, and seemed cheerful and good tempered, as I 
was my self naturally of a domestic turn, and resolved 
to make a good husband, I thought we bade fair for 
being happy in each other. 

But, though I must do my spouse the justice to 
say, that she is discreet and prudent, attentive to the 
affairs of her family, a careful and fond mother to 
p 2 


her children, and, in many respects, an affectionate 
and dutiful wife ; yet one foible in her temper de- 
stroys the effect of all these good qualities. She is 
so much attached to her own opinion in every trifle, 
so impatient of contradiction in them, and with all so 
ready to dispute mine, that, if I disapprove of her 
taste or sentiments in any one particular, or seem 
dissatisfied when she disapproves of my taste or sen- 
timents, it is the certain source of a quarrel ; and 
while we perfectly agree as to our general plan of 
life, and every essential circumstance of our domes- 
tic economy, this silly fancy, that I must eat, dress, 
think, and speak, precisely as she would have me, 
while she will not accommodate herself to me in the 
most trifling of these particulars, give me perpetual 
uneasiness ; and, with almost every thing I could 
wish, a genteel income, a good reputation, a fine fa- 
mily, and a virtuous wife, whom I sincerely esteem, 
I have the mortification to find myself absolutely 

I am sure this foible of my poor wife's will appear 
to you, MK Mirror, in its proper light ; your making 
it appear so to her, may be the means of alleviating 
our mutual distress ; for, to tell you the truth, I be- 
lieve, she is almost as great a sufferer as I am. I 
hope you will gratify me in this desire ; by doing 
so you may be of general service, and will particu- 
larly oblige 

Your constant reader, and 
Obedient humble servant, 

Nathaniel Gold. 

On comparing these two letters, it is evident, that, 
from the want of that complacency mentioned in the 
beginning of this paper, the very sensibility of tem- 
per, and strength of affection, which, under its influ- 
ence, would have made this good couple happy, has 
>ad a- quite contrary effect. The source of the dia- 


quiet they complain of, is nothing else than the want 
of that respect for taste, feelings, and opinions of 
each other, which constitutes the disposition I have 
recommended above, and which, so far from being 
inconsistent with a reasonable desire of reforming 
each other in these particulars, is the most probable 
means of accomplishing it. 

Nor is the case of Mr. and Mrs. Gold singular in 
this respect. By much the greatest part of domestic 
quarrels originate from the want of this pliancy of 
disposition, which people seem, very absurdly, to sup- 
pose may be disoensed with in trifles. 1 have known 
a man who would have parted with half his estate to 
serve a friend, to whom he would not have yielded a 
hair's breadth in an argument. But the lesser vir- 
tues must be attended to as well was the greater ; 
the manners as well as the duties of life. They form 
a sort of Pocket Coin, which, though it does not enter 
into great and important transactions, is absolutely 
necessary for common and ordinary intercourse. 


IN compliance with a promise I made my readers 
at the close of last Saturday's paper, (at least it was 
that sort of promise which a man keeps when the 
thing suits his inclination,) I proceed to give them 
an account of that dinner to which my friend Mr. 
Umphraville and I were invited by his cousin Mr. 

On our way to the house, I perceived certain symp- 
toms of dissatisfaction, which my friend could not 
help bringing forth, though he durst not impute them 


to the right cause, as I have heard of men beating 
their wives at home, to revenge themselves for the 
crosses they have met with abroad. He complained 
of the moistness of the weather, and the dirtiness, of 
the street ; was quite fatigued with the length of the 
way, (Mr. Bearskin's house being fashionably eccen- 
tric,) and almost cursed the taylor for the tightness 
of a suit of cloaths, which he had bespoke on his 
arrival in town, and had now put on for the first time. 
His chagrin, I believe, was increased by his having 
just learned from his lawyer, that the business he 
came to town about, could not be finished at the time 
he expected, but would probably last a week longer. 

When we entered Mr. Bearskin's drawing-room, 
we found his wife sitting with her three daughters 
ready to receive us. It was easy to see, by the air of 
the lady, that she v?as perfectly mistress of the house, 
and that her husband was only a secondary person 
there. He seemed, however, contented with his si- 
tuation, and an admirer of his wife ; a sort of lap-dog 
husband (of whom I have seen many) who looks 
sleek, runs about briskly, and though he now and 
then gets a kick from his mistress, is as ready to play 
over his tricks again as ever. 

Mr. Bearskin, after many expressions of his hap- 
piness in seeing his cousin in his new house, proposed 
walking us down stairs again, to begin shewing it 
from the ground-story upwards. Umphraville, though 
I saw him sweating at the idea, was ready to follow 
his conductor, when we were saved by the interpo- 
sition of the lady, who uttered a " Psha 1 Mr. Bear- 
" skin," with so significant a look, that her husband 
instantly dropped his design, saying, " to be sure 
" there was not much worth seeing, though he could 
" have wished to have shewn his cousin his study, 
" which he thought was tolerably clever." " I 
" thought, Papa," said the eldest of the Misses, " it 
" was not quite in order yet." — * Why, not altege- 


* ther," replied her father ; " I have not been able 
*' to get up my heads, as Pope has lost an ear, and 

* Homer the left side of his beard, by the careless- 

* ness of a packer ; and I want about three feet ar.d 
u a half of folios for my lowest shelf." — " I don't 
** care if there was not a folio in the world," rejoined 
Miss. " Child 1" said her mother, in a tone of re- 
buke. — Miss bridled up, and was silent ; — I smiled ; 
Umphraville walked to th« window, and wiped his 

Bearskin now pulled out his watch, and telling the 
hour, said, he wondered his friend Mr. Blubber was 
not come, as he was generally punctual to a minute* 
While he spoke, a loud rap at the door announced 
the expected company ; and presently Mr. Blubber, 
his wife, a son, and two daughters, entered the room. 
The first had on an old-fashioned pompadour coat, 
with gold buttons, and very voluminous sleeves, his 
head adorned by a large major wig, with curls as 
white and as stiff as if they had been cast in plaster 
of Paris; but the females, and heir of the family, 
were dressed in the very height of the mode. Bear- 
skin introduced the old gentleman to his cousin Mr. 

Umphraville : " Mr. Blubber, Sir, a very particu- 

u lar friend of mine, and (turning to me with a whi&- 
" per) worth fourscore thousand pounds, if he's worth 
" a farthing." Blubber said, he feared they had kept 
us waiting ; but that his wife and daughters had got 
under the hands of the hair-dresser, and he verily 
thought would never have had done with him. The 
lidies were too busy to reply to this accusation ; they 
had got into a committee of enquiry on Mr. Edward 
Blubber's waistcoat, which had been tamboured, it 
seems, by his sisters, and was universally declared 
to be monstrous handsome. The young man himself 
seemed to be highly delighted with the reflection of 
it in a mirror that stood opposite to him. " Isn't it 
«' vastly pretty, Sir," said one of the young ladies 


to Umphraville? M Ma'am," said he, starting from 
a reverie, in which I saw, by his countenance, he 
was meditating on the young gentleman and his waist- 
coat in no very favourable manner. I read her 
countenance, too: she thought Umphraville just the 
fool he did her brother. 

Dinner was now announced, and the company, af- 
ter some ceremonial, got into their places at table, 
in the centre of which stood a sumptuous epargne, 
filled, as Bearskin informed us, with the produce of 
his farm. This joke, which, I suppose, was as re- 
gular as the grace before dinner, was explained to the 
ignorant to mean, that the sweet-meats came from 
a plantation in one of the West-India islands, in which 
he had a concern. The epargne itself now produced 
another dissertation from the ladies, and, like the 
waistcoat, was also pronounced monstrous handsome. 
Blubber, taking his eye half off a plate of salmon, 
to which he had just been helped, observed, that it 
would come to a handsome price too: — " sixty ounces, 
" I'll warrant it," said he, " but, as the plate-tax is 
M now repealed, it will cost but the interest a-keep- 
« ing." — » La ! Papa," said Miss Blubber, " you 
" are always thinking of the money things cost." — 
" Yes," added her brother, " Tables of interest are 
" an excellent accompaniment for a desert." — At this 
speech all the ladies laughed very loud. Blubber 
said, he was an impudent dog, but seemed to relish 
his son's wit notwithstanding. Umphraville locked 
sternly at him ; and, had not a glance of his waist- 
coat set him down as something beneath a man's an- 
ger, I do not know what consequences might have 
followed. During the rest of the entertainment, I 
could see the fumes of fool and coxcomb on every 
morsel that Umphraville swallowed, though Mrs. 
Bearskin, next whom he sat, was at great pains, to 
help him to the nice bits of every thiog within her 


When dinner was over, Mr. Blubber mentioned his 
design of making a tour through the Highlands, to 
visit Stirling, Taymouth, and Dunkeld ; and applying 
to our landlord for some description of these places, 
was by him referred to Mr. Umphraville and me. 
Mr. Umphraville was not in a communicative mood ; 
so I was obliged to assure Mr. Blubber, who talked 
with much uncertainty and apprehension of these 
matters, that he would find beds and bed-cloaths, 
meat for himself, and corn for his horses, at the se- 
veral places above mentioned ; that he had no dan- 
gerous seas to cross in getting at them ; and that 
there were no highwaymen upon the road. 

After this there was a considerable interval of si- 
lence, and we were in danger of getting once more 
upon Mr. Edwards's fine waistcoat, when Mr. Bear- 
skin, informing the company, that his cousin was a 
great lover of music, called on his daughter, Miss 
Polly, for a song, with which, after some of the usual 
apologies, she complied ; and, in compliment to Mr. 
Umphraville's taste, who she was sure must like 
Italian music, she sung, or rather squalled a song of 
Sachini's, in which there was scarce one bar in time 
from beginning to end. Miss Blubber said, in her 
usual phraseology, that it was a monstrous sweet 
air — Her brother swore it was divinely sung. — Um- 
phraville gulped down a falsehood with a very bad 
grace, and said, Miss would be a good singer with a 
little more practice.... Acompliment which was not more 
distant from truth on one side, than from Miss's ex- 
pectations on the other, and I could plainly perceive, 
did not set him fonvard in the favour of the family. 

" My father is a judge of singing too," said Mr. 
Edward Blubber ; " what is your opinion of the song, 
" Sir ?" — " My opinion is," said he, " that your 
" Italianos always set me asleep ; English ears 
" should have English songs, I think." — " Then sup- 
" pose one of the ladies should give us an English 


" song," said I. " 'Tis a good motion," said Mr. 
Bearskin, " I second it ; Miss Betsy Blubber sings 
" an excellent English song." — Miss Betsy denied 
stoutly that she ever sung at all ; but evidence being 
produced against her, she, at last, said she would try if 
she could make out, " The Maid's Choice." M Ay, 
" ay, Betsy," said her father, " a very good song ; 
** I have heard it before." 

-" If I could but find, 

I care not for fortune — Umh! — a man to my mind." 

Miss Betsy began the song accordingly, and to make 
up for her want of voice, accompanied it with a great 
deal of action. Either from the accident of his being 
placed opposite to her, or from a sly application to 
his state as an old bachelor, she chose to personify 
the maid's choice in the figure of Umphraville, and 
pointed the description of the song particularly at 
him. Umphraville, with all his dignity, his abilities, 
and his knowledge, felt himself uneasy and ridicu- 
lous under the silly allusion of a ballad ; he blushed, 
attempted to laugh, blushed again, and still looked 
with that awkward importance which only the more 
attracted the ridicule of the fools around him. Not 
long after the ladies retired ; and no persuasion of 
his cousin could induce him to s>tay the evening, or 
even to enter the drawing-room where they were 
assembled at tea. 

" Thank Heaven !" said Umphraville, when the 
door was shut, and we had got fairly into the street. 
" Amen!" I replied, smiling, " for our good dinner 

" and excellent wine!" "How the devil, Charles," 

said he, " do you contrive to bear all this nonsense 
" with the composure you do?" — u Why, I have 
" often told ycu, my friend, that our earth is not a 
" planet fitted up only for the reception of wise men. 
" Your Blubbers and Bearskins are necessary parts 


" of the system ; they deserve the enjoyments they 
are capable of feeling; — and I am not sure if he who 
suffers from his own superiority does not deserve his 


To the Anther of the Mirror. 

TILL I arrived at the age of twenty, my time was 
divided between my books, and the society of a few 
friends, whom a similarity of pursuits and disposi- 
tions recommended to me. About that period, find- 
ing that the habits of reserve and retirement had ac- 
quired a power over me, which my situation, as heir 
to a considerable fortune, would render inconvenient, 
I was prevailed upon, partly by a sense of this, partly 
by the importunity of my relations, to make an effort 
for acquiring a more general acquaintance, and fa- 
shionable deportment. As I was conscious of an in- 
clination to oblige, and a quick sense of propriety, 
two qualities which I esteemed the ground of good- 
breeding ; as my wit was tolerably ready, and my 
figure not disadvantageous, I own to you that I enter- 
tained some hopes of success. 

I was, however, unsuccessful. The novelty of the 
scenes in which I found myself engaged, the multi- 
plicity of observances and attention requisite upon 
points which I had always regarded as below my no- 
tice, embarrassed and confounded me. The feelings 
to which I had trusted for my direction, served only 
to make me awkward, and fearful of offending. My 
obsequious services in the drawing-room passed unre- 
vol. i. q_ 


warded ; and my observations, when I ventured to 
mingle, either in the chat of the women, being de- 
livered with timidity and hesitation, were overlooked 
or neglected. Some of the more elderly and discreet 
among the former seemed to pity me ; and I could 
not help remarking, that they often, as if they had 
meant the hint forme, talked of the advantage to be 
derived from the perusal of Lord Chesterfield's Let- 
ters. To this author, then, as soon as I learned his 
subject, I had recourse, as to a guide that would 
point out my way, and support me in my journey. 
But, how much was I astonished, when, through a 
veil of wit, ridicule, elegant expression, and lively 
illustration, I discerned a studied system of frivolity, 
meanness, flattery, and dissimulation, inculcated as 
the surest and most eligible road to eminence and 
popularity ! 

Young as I am, Mr. Mirror, and heedless as I 
may consequently be supposed, 1 cannot think that 
this work is a code proper for being held up to us as 
the regulator of our conduct. The talents insisted 
on with peculiar emphasis, the accomplishments most 
earnestly recommended, are such as. in ^ur days, if 
they ought to be treated of at all, should be mention- 
ed only to put us on our guard against them. If 
riches naturally tend to render trifles of importance ; 
if they direct our attention too much toward exterior 
accomplishments ; if they propagate the courtly and 
complying spirit too extensively at any rate, we cer- 
tainly, in this country, so wealthy and luxurious, have 
no need of exhortation to cultivate or acquire those 
qualifications. The habits that may arrest for a little 
time the progress of this corruption, ought now to 
be insisted on. Independence, fortitude, stubborn 
integrity, and pride that disdains the shadow of ser- 
vility ; these are the virtues which a tutor should in- 
culcate ; these the blessings which a fond father 
should supplicate from Heaven for his offspring. 

THE MIRROR. ' 173 

It is, throughout, the error of his lordship's system, 
to consider talents and accomplishments, according 
to the use that may be made of them, rather than 
their intrinsic worth. In his catechism, applause is 
rectitude, and success is morality. That, in our days, 
a person may rise to eminence by trivial accomplish- 
ments, and become popular by flattery and dissimu- 
lation, may, perhaps, be true. But, from this it sure- 
ly does .or follow, that these are the means which 
an honourable character should employ. There is a 
dignit) ii the mind, which cultivates those arts alone 
that are valuable; which courts those characters alone 
that are worthy, which disdains to conceal its own 
sentiments, or minister to the foibles of others ; 
there is, I say, a conscious dignity and satisfaction in 
these feelings, which neither applause, nor power* 
nor popularity, without them, can ever bestow. 

Many of his lordship's distinctions are too nice 
for my faculties. I cannot, for my part, discern the 
difference between feigned confidence and insincerity ; 
between the conduct that conveys the approbation of 
a sentiment, or the flattery of a foible, and the words 
that declare it. I should think the man whose coun- 
tenance was open, and his thoughts concealed, a 
hypocrite ; I should term him, who could treat his 
friends as if they were at the same time to be his 
enemies, a monster of ingratitude and duplicity. It 
is dangerous to trifle thus upon the borders of virtue. 
By teaching us that it may insensibly be blended 
with vice, that their respective limits are not in every 
case evident and certain, our veneration for it is di- 
minished. Its chief safeguard is a jealous sensibility, 
that startles at the co'our or shadow of deceit. When 
this barrier has been insulted, can any other be op- 
posed at which conscience will arise and proclaim, 
thus far, and no farther, shalt thou advance ? 

The love of general applause, recommended by 
bis lordship, as the great principle of conduct, is a 
folly and a weakness. He that directs himself by 

i74 1»>TK MIRROR. 

this compass, cannot hope to steer through life with 
steadiness and consistency. He must surrender his 
own character, and assume the hue of every company 
he enters. To court the approbation of any one» is, 
in a tacit manner, to do homage to his judgment or 
his feelings. He that extends his courtship of it 
beyond the praise-worthy, violates the exclusive pri- 
vilege of virtue, and must seek it by unworthy arts. 

On the other hand, though I am by no means a 
friend to rash and unguarde€ censure, yet I cannot 
help considering the conduct of him who will censure 
nothing, who will speak his sentiments of no charac- 
ter with freedom, who palliates every error, and apo- 
logizes for every failing, as more nearly allied to 
meanness, timidity, and a time-serving temper, than 
it is connected with candour, or favourable to the 
cause of virtue. 

Nor can I persuade myself that his lordship's sys- 
tem will be attended with general success. The 
real character is the only one that can be maintained 
at all times, and in all dispositions. Professions of 
friendship and regard will lead to expectations of 
service that cannot be answered. The sentiments 
delivered in one company, the manners assumed upon 
one occasion, will be remembered, and contrasted 
with those that are presented on another. Suspicion, 
once awakened, will penetrate the darkest cloud 
which art can throw around a person in the common 
intercourse of life. 

Let us consider, too, were this system generally 
adopted, what a dull insipid scene must society be- 
come ? No distinction, no natural expression, of cha- 
racter ; no confidence in professions of any kind ; 
no assurance of sincerity ; no secret sympathy, nor 
delightful correspondence of feeling. All the sallies 
of wit, all the graces of polite manners, woidd but 
ill supply the want of these pleasures, the purest 
and most elegant which human life affords. 

Iiu genius. 


To the Author of Che Mirror. 

AS you treat much of politeness, I wish you would 
take notice of a particular sort of incivility, from 
which one suffers, without being thought intitled to 
complain. I mean -that of never contradicting one 
at all. 

I have come lately from my father's in the coun- 
try, where I was reckoned a girl of tolerable parts, 
to reside for some time at my aunt's in town. Here 
is a visitor, Mr. D*pperwit, a good-looking young 
man, with white teeth, a fine complexion, his cheeks 
dimpled, and rather a little full and large at bottom ; 
in short, the civilest, most complying sort of face 
you can imagine. As I had often taken notice of his 
behaviour, I was resolved to minute down his dis- 
course the other evening at tea. The conversation 
began about the weather, my aunt observing, that 
the seasons were wonderfully altered in her memory. 
" Certainly, my lady/* said Mr. Dapperwit, " ama- 
" zingly altered indeed.'* — u Now I have heard my 
" father say, (said 1) that is a vulgar error; forthatit 
" appears from registers kept for the purpose, that 
u the state of the weather, though it may be differ- 
il ent in certain seasons, months, or weeks, preserves 
iC a wonderful equilibrium in general." — " Why, to 
" be sure, Miss, I believe, in general, as you say ; 
" — but, talking of the weather, I hope your lady- 
" ship caught no cold at the play t'other night ; we 
iv were so awkwardly situated in getting out." — " Not 
** in the least, Sir ; I was greatly obliged to your 
" services there." — " You were well entertained, I 
4< hope, my lady." — " Very well, indeed : I laughed 
' 4 exceedingly ; there is a great deal of wit in 
" Shakespeare's comedies ; 'tis a pity there is sc» 
u much of low life in them." — (( Your ladyship's cii- 


u ticism is extremely just; every body must be struck 
" with it." — " Why now, I think, (said I again) that 
11 what you call low life, is nature, which I would 
" not lose for all the rest of the play." — u Oh I 
" doubtless, Miss ; for nature Skakespeare is inimi- 
44 table ; every body must allow that." — " What do 
44 you think, Sir, (said my cousin Betsy, who is a 
44 piece of a poetess herself) of that monody you 
44 were so kind as to send us yesterday ?" — 44 I never 
44 deliver my opinion, Ma'am, before so able a judge, 
44 till I am first informed of hers." — " I think it the 
44 most beautiful poem, Sir, I have read of a great 
44 while." — 44 Your opinion, Ma'am, natters me ex- 
44 tremely, as it agrees exactly with my own ; they 
44 are, I think, incontestibly the sweetest lines." — 
*< Sweet they may be, (here I broke in) : I allow 
44 them merit in the versification ; but that is only 
44 one ; and, with me, by no means the chief, requi- 
44 site in a poem ; they want force altogether." — 
44 Nay, as to the matter of force, indeed it must be 
kt owned." — 44 Yes, Sir, and unity, and propriety, 
44 and a thousand other things ; but, if my cousin 
44 will be kind enough to fetch the poem from her 
44 dressing-room, we will be judged by you, Mr. 
44 Dapperwit." — u Pardon me, ladies, you would not 
44 have me be so rude. 

" Who shall decide when doctors disagree J** 

And, with that, he made one of the finest bows in 
the world. 

If all this, Sir, proceed from silliness, we must 
pity the man, and there's an end on't ; if it arise 
from an idea of silliness in us, let such gentlemen 
as Mr. Dapperwit know, that they are very much 
mistaken. But if it be the effect of pure civility — 
pray inform them, Mr. Mirror, that it is the most 


provoking piece of rudeness they can possibly 

Yours, &c. 

Bridget Nettlewit. 


Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest. Gray. 

NOTHING has a greater tendency to elevate and 
affect the heart than the reflection upon those per- 
sonages who have performed a distinguished part 
on the theatre of life, whose actions were attended 
with important consequences to the world around 
them, or whose writings have animated or instructed 
mankind. The thought that they are now no more, 
that their ashes are mingled with those of the mean- 
est and most worthless, affords a subject of contemp- 
lation, which, however melancholy, the mind, in a 
moment of pensiveness, may feel a secret sort of de- 
light to indulge. " Tell her," says Hamlet, " that 
" she may paint an inch thick ; yet to this she must 
" come at last." 

When Xerxes, at the head of his numerous army, 
saw all his troops ranged in order before him, he burst 
into tears at the thought, that, in a short time, they 
would be sweeped from the face of the earth, and be 
removed to give place to those who would fill other 
armies, and rank under other generals. 

Something of what Xerxes felt, from the conside- 
ration that those who then were, should cease to be, 
it is equally natural to feel from the reflection, that 
all who have formerly lived have ceased to live, and 
that nothing more remains than the memory of a very 


fev/ who have left some memorial which keeps alive 
their names, and the fame with which those names 
are accompanied. 

But serious as this reflection may be, it is not so 
deep as the thought, that even of those persons who 
were possessed of talents for distinguishing themselves 
in the world, for having their memories handed down 
from age to age, much the greater part, it is likely, 
from hard necessity, or by some of the various fatal 
accidents of life, have been excluded from the possi- 
bility of exerting themselves, or of being useful either 
to those who lived in the same age, or to posterity. 
Poverty in many, and " disastrous chance" in others, 
have chill'd the " genial current of the soul," and 
numbers have been cut ofY by premature death in the 
midst of project and ambition. How many have 
there been in the ages that are past, how many may 
exist at this very moment, who, with all the talenis. 
fitted to shine in the world, to guide or to instruct 
it, may, by some secret misfortune, have had their 
minds depressed, or the fire of their genius extin- 
guished I 

I have been led into these reflections from the pe- 
rusal of a small volume of poems which happens now 
to lie before me, which, though possessed of very 
considerable merit, and composed in this country r 
are, I believe very little known. In a well-written 
preface, the reader is told, that most of them are the 
production of Michael Bruce ; that this Michael 
Bruce was born in a remote village in Kinross-shire, 
and descended from parents remarkable for nothing 
but the innocence and simplicity of their lives : that, 
in the twenty-first year of his age, he was seized with 
a consumption, which put an end to his life. 

Nothing, methinks, has more the power of awak- 
ening benevolence, than the consideration of genius 
thus depressed by situation, suffered to pine in obscu- 
rity and sometimes, as in the case of this unfortunate: 


young man, to perish, it may be, for want of those 
comforts and convenicncies which might have foster- 
ed a delicacy of frame or of mind, ill-calculated to 
bear the hardships which poverty lays on both. For 
my own part, I never pass the place, (a little hamlet, 
skirted with a circle of old ash-trees, about three 
miles on this side of Kinross) where Michael Bruce 
resided ; I never look on his dwelling — a small thatch- 
ed house, distinguished from the cottages of the other 
inhabitants only by a sashed window at the end, in- 
stead of a lattice, fringed with a honeysuckle plant, 
which the poor youth had trained around it ; — I ne- 
ver find myself in that spot, but I stop my horse in- 
voluntarily ; and looking on the window, which the 
honeysuckle has now almost covered, in the dream 
of the moment, I picture out a figure for the gentle 
tenant of the mansion ; I wish, and my heart swells, 
while I do so, that he were alive, and that I were a 
great man to have the luxury of visiting him there, 

and bidding him be happy. 1 cannot carry my 

readers thither ; but, that they may share some of 
my feelings, I will present them with an extract from 
the last poem in the little volume before me, which, 
from its subject, and the manner in which it is writ- 
ten, cannot fail of touching the heart of every one 
who reads it. 

A young man of genius, in a deep consumption, 
at the age of twenty-one, feeling himself every mo- 
ment going faster to decline, is an object sufficiently 
interesting ; but how much must every feeling on the 
occasion be heightened, when we know that this per- 
son possessed so much dignity and composure of 
mind, as not only to contemplate his approaching 
fate, but even to write a poem on the subject I 

In the French language there is a much-admired 
poem of the Abbe de Chaulieu, written, in expecta- 
tion of his own deatih, to the Marquis de la Farre, 
lamenting his approaching separation from his friend* 


Micbafel Bruce, who, it is probable, never heard of 
the Abbe de Chaulieu, has also written a poem on his 
own approaching death ; with the latter part of which 
I shall conclude<this paper. 

Now spring returns ; but not to me returns 
The vernal joys my better days have known : 

Dim in my breast life's dying taper burns, 

And all the joys of life with health are flown. 

Starting and shiv'ring in th' inconstant %vind, 
Meagre and pale, the ghost of what I was, 

Beneath some blasted tree I lie reclin'd, 
And count the silent moments as they pass. 

The winged moments, whose unstaying speed 
No art can stop, or in their course arrest ; 

Whose flight shall shortly count me with the dead, 
And lay me down in peace with them that rest. 

Oft morning-dreams presage approaching fate ; 

And morning-dreams, as poets tel), are true. 
Led by pale ghosts, I enter death's dark gate, 

And bid the realms of light and life adieu. 

I hear the helpless wail, the shriek of woe ; 

I see the muddy wave, the dreary shore, 
The sluggish streams that slowly creep below, 

Which mortals visit, and return no more. 

Farewell, ye blooming fields ! ye cheerful plains ! 

Enough for me the church-yard's lonely mound, 
Where melancholy with still silence reigns, 

And the rank grass waves o'er the cheerless ground. 

There let me wander at the close of eve, 

When sleep sits dewy on the labourer's eyes, 

The world and all its busy follies leave, 

And talk with wisdom where my Daphivs lies. 


There let me sleep, forgotten in the clay, 

When death shall shut these weary aching eyes, 

Rest in the hopes of an eternal day, 

Till the long night is gone, and the last morn arise. 


■Credula vitam 

Spes fovet, et melius eras fore semper ait. Tibul. 

THE following essay I received some time ago 
from a correspondent, to whom, if I may judge from 
the hand-writing, I was once before indebted for an 
ingenious communication. 

THE experience which every day affords, of the 
mortifying difference between those ideal pleasures 
which we conceive to flow from the possession of cer- 
tain objects of our wishes, and the feelings conse- 
quent upon their actual attainment, has furnished to 
most moralists a text for declaiming on the vanity 
of human pursuits, the folly of covetousness, the mad- 
ness of ambition, and the only true wisdom of being 
humbly satisfied with the lot and station which Pro- 
vidence has assigned us. 

It will not appear extraordinary, that those moral- 
ists have hitherto laboured in vain, when it is con- 
sidered that their doctrine, taken in the latitude in 
which they usually preach it, would cut off the great- 
est source of our happiness, overthrow every social 
establishment, and is nothing less than an attempt to 
alter the nature cf man. It may be a truth, that the 
balance of happiness and misery is much the same 


in most conditions of life, artd consequently that no 
change of circumstances will either greatly enlarge 
the one or diminish the other. But, while we know 
that, to attain an object of our wishes, or to change 
our condition is not to increase our happiness, we feel, 
at the same time, that the pursuit of this object, and 
the expectation of this change, can increase it in a 
very sensible degree. It is by hope that we truly ex- 
ist ; our only enjoyment is the expectation of some- 
thing which we do not possess : the recollection of 
the past serves us but to direct and regulate those ex- 
pectations i the present is employed in contemplating 
them : it is therefore only the future which we may 
be properly said to enjoy. 

A philosopher who reasons in this manner, has a 
much more powerful incentive to cheerfulness and 
contentment of mind, than what is furnished by that 
doctrine which inculcates a perpetual warfare with 
ourselves, and a restraint upon the strongest feelings 
of our nature. For, while he feels that the posses- 
sion of the object of his most earnest desires has 
given him far less pleasure than was promised by 
a distant view of it ; he is consoled by reflecting that 
the expectation of this object has, perhaps, brighten- 
ed many years of his life, enabled him to toil for its 
attainment with vigour and alacrity, to discharge, with 
honour, his part in society ; in short, has given him, 
in reality, as substantial happiness as human nature is 
capable of enjoying. 

Though several years younger than Euphanor, I 
have been long acquainted with him. He is now in his 
fifty -second year; an age when, with most men, the 
romantic spirit and enthusiasm of youth, have long 
given place to the cool and steady maxims of busi- 
ness and the world. It is, however, a peculiarity of 
my friend's disposition, that the same sanguine tem- 
perament of mind which, from infancy, has attended 
him through life, still continues to actuate him as 
strongly as ever. As he discovered, very early, a 


fomfhess for classical learning, his father, at his own 
desire, advanced his patrimony for his education at 
the univer c >y. At the age of twenty he was left 
without a shilling, to make the best of his talents, 
In any way he thought proper. Certain concurring 
circumstances, rather than choice, placed him as an 
under-clerk in a counting-house. His favourite stu- 
dies were here totally useless ; but, while he gave 
to business th« most scrupulous attention, they still, 
at the intervals of relaxation, furnished his chief 
amusement. It would be equally tedious and foreign 
to my purpose, to mark minutely the steps by which 
Euphanor, in the course of thirty years application 
to business, rose to be master of the moderate for- 
tune of fifteen thousand pounds. My friend alw&ys 
considered money not in the common light, as merely 
the end of labour, but as the means of purchasing 
certain enjoyments, which his fancy had pictured as 
constituting the supreme happiness of life. 

In the beginning of last spring I received from 
Euphanor the following letter : 

" My Dear Sir, 
" YOU, who are familiar with my disposition, will 
" not be surprised at a piece of information, which, 
" I doubt not, will occasion some wonder in the ge- 
" neral circle of my acquaintance. I have now fairly 
" begun to execute that resolution, of which you have 
" long heard me talk, of entirely withdrawing my- 
" self from business. You know with what ardour 
« I have longed for that period, when fortune should 
" ble^s me with a competence, just sufficient to pro- 
" secute my favourite scheme of retiring to the coun- 
" try. It was that darling prospect which made the 
" toils of busing (for which, God knows, I never 
" was intended by nature,) light, and even pleasant 
" to me. I have acquux:!, by honest industry, a for- 
" tune equal to my wishes. These were 'always 

VOL. I. R 


" moderate ; for my aim was not wealth, but happi- 
11 ness. Of that, indeed, I have been truly covetous ; 
" for I must confess, that, for these thirty years past, 
" I have never laid my head to my pillow, without 
" that ardent wish, which my favourite Horace so 
u beautifully expresses : 

** O rus ! quando ego te aspiciam ? quandoque licebit 
" Nunc veterum libris, nunc somno et inertibus horis, 
♦' Ducere sollicitse juounda oblivia vitae ?" 

" Or the same sentiment, in the words of the pen- 
M sive moral Cowley : 

" Oh fountains ! when in you shall I 

" Myself eas'd of unpeaceful thoughts espy ? 

" Oh fields ! oh woods ! when, when shall I be made 

" The happy tenant of your shade ?" 

" That blissful period, my dear friend, is at length 
u arrived. I yesterday made a formal resignation of 
" all concern in the house, in favour of my nephew, 
" a deserving young man, who, I doubt not, will have 
" the entire benefit of those numerous connections 
" with persons in trade, whose good opinion his uncle 
" never, to his knowledge, forfeited. 

u I have made a purchase of a small estate in 

u shire, of about 200 acres. The situation is de- 
lightfully romantic ;" 


"Hie gelidi fontes, hie mollia prata, 

-hie nemus 

" My house is small, but wonderfully commodious. 
u It is embosomed in a tall grove of oak and elm, 
" which opens only to the south. A green hill rises 
" behind the house, partly covered with furze, and 
" seamed with a winding sheep-path. On one side 
" is an irregular garden, or rather border of shrub- 


" bery, adorning the sloping bank of a rivulet ; but 

" intermixed, without the smallest injury to its beau- 

" ty, with all the variety of herbs for the kitchen. 

" On the other side, a little more remote, but still 

" in sight of the house, is an orchard filled with ex- 

" cellent fruit-trees. The brook, which runs through 

" my garden, retires into a hollow dell, shaded with 

" birch and hazle copse, and, after a winding course 

c * of half a mile, joins a large river. These are the 

" outlines of my little paradise. — And now, my dear 

*• friend, what have I more to wish, but that you, 

* and a very few others, whose souls are congenial 
" to my own, should witness my happiness ? In two 
" days hence, I bid adieu to the town, a long, a last 
" adieu 1 

" Farewell, thou busy world ! and may 
" We never meet again ! " 

" The remainder of my life, I dedicate to those pur- 
u suits in which the best and wisest of men did not 
" blush to employ themselves ; the delightful occu- 
<w pations of a country life, which Cicero well laid, 
" and after him Columella, are next in kindred to 

* true philosophy. What charming schemes have 

* I already formed ; what luxurious plans of sweet 
" and rational entertainment ! But these, my friend, 
" you must approve and participate. 1 shall look 
" for you about the beginning of May, when, if you 
" can spare me a couple of months, I can venture to 
" promise that time will not linger with us. I am, 
" with much regard, yours, 8cc." 

As I am, myself, very fond of the country, it was 
with considerable regret that I found it not in my 
power to accept of my friend's invitation ; an unex- 
pected piece of business having detained me in town 
during the greatest part of the. summer. I heard 


nothing of Eupbanor till about nine months after, 
when he again wrote me as follows : 

« Mr Dear Sir, 
44 IT was a sensible mortification to me not to have 

" the pleasure of seeing you last summer in 

" shire, when I should have been much the better 
44 for your advice, in a disagreeable affair, which, I 
44 am afraid, will occasion my paying a visit to town 
44 much sooner than I expected. I have always had 
4i a honor at going to law, but now I find myself 
44 unavoidably compelled to it. Sir Ralph Surly, 
44 whose estate adjoins to my little property, has, for 
44 the purpose of supplying a new barley-mill, turned 
" aside the course of a small stream, which ran 
41 through my garden and inclosures, and which 
44 formed, indeed, their greatest ornament. In place 
44 of a beautiful winding rivulet, with a variety of 
44 fine natural falls, there is nothing but a dry ditch, 
44 or rather crooked gulph, which is hideous to look 
44 at. The malice of this procedure is sufficiently 
44 conspicuous, when I tell you, that there is another, 
4t and a larger stream, in the same grounds, which 
44 I have offered to be at the sole expence of con- 
44 ducting to his mill. I think the law must do me 
44 justice. At any rate, it is impossible tamely to 
u bear such an injury. I shall probably see you in a 
44 few days. To say the truth, my dear friend, even 
14 before this last mortification, I had begun to find, 
44 that the expectations I had formed of the pleasures 
44 of a country-life were by far too sanguine. I must 
44 confess, that, notwithstanding the high relish I 
44 have for the beauties of nature, I have often felt, 
44 amid«t the most romantic scenes, that langour of 
44 spirit, which nothing but society can dissipate. 
44 Even when occupied with my favourite studies, I 
" have sometimes thought, with the bard of Mantua, 
« that the ease and retirement which I courted were 


44 rather ignoble. I have suffered an additional dis- 
♦ % appointment in the ideas I had formed of the cha- 
44 racters of the country-people. It is but a treache- 
44 rous picture, my friend, which the poets give us, 
44 of their innocence and honest simplicity. I have 
" met with some instances of insincerity, chicane, 
44 and even downright knavery, in my short acquaint- 
44 ance with them, that have quite shocked and 
44 mortified me. 

44 Whether I shall ever again enter into the busy 
44 world (a small concern in the house, without al- 
44 lowing my name to appear, would perhaps be 
* some amusement) I have not yet determined. 
4k Of this, and other matters, we shall talk fully 
♦ 4 at meeting. Meantime, believe me, dear Sir, 
u yours, 

44 Euphanor." 

Euphanor has been, for this month past, in town, 
I expected to have found him peevish, chagrined, and 
out of humour with the world. But in this I was dis- 
appointed. I have never seen my friend in better 
health, or higher spirits. I have been with him at 
several convivial meetings, with our old acquaint- 
ances, who felt equal satisfaction with himself at 
what they term his recovery. He has actually re- 
sumed a small share in trade, and purposes, for the 
future, to devote one half of the year to business. 
His counsel have given him assurance of gaining his 
law suit : he expects in a few months, to return in 

triumph to shire, and has invited all his friends 

to be present at a Fete Champetre he intends to cele- 
brate, on the restoration of his beloved rivulet to its 
wonted channel. 

The life of Euphanor must be a series of disap- 
pointments ; but, on the whole, I must consider hint 
as a. happy man. 

r % 

188 THE MIRROtt, 


THE following letter I received only yesterday ; 
but, as I am particularly interested in every project 
of ingenious men, I postponed another essay which 
was ready for publication, and put my printer to 
considerable inconvenience to get it ready for this 
day's paper. I was the more solicitous, likewise, to 
give it a place as soon after my 35th number as pos- 
sible, in order to shew my impartiality. This paper 
(as the London Gazetteer says) is open to all parties ; 
with this proviso, however, which is exactly the re- 
verse of the terms of admission into the Gazetteer, 
that my correspondents do not write politics. 

To the Author of the Mirror. 

IN a late paper, you shewed the necessity of ac- 
commodating ourselves to the temper of persons with 
whom wc are particularly connected, by sometimes 
submitting our own taste, inclination, and opinions 
to the taste, inclination, and opinions of those per- 
sons. I apprehend, Sir, you might have carried 
your idea a good deal farther, and have prescribed to 
us the same receipt for happiness in our intercourse 
not only with our wives and children, but with our 
companions, our acquaintance, in short, with all man- 

But, as the disposition to this is not always born 
with one, and as to form a temper is not so easy as 
to regulate a behaviour, it is the business of masters 
in the art of politeness, to teach people, at least the 
better sort of them, to counterfeit as much of this 
complacency in their deportment as possible. In 
this, indeed, they begin at quite the different end of 
the matter from you, Sir ; complacency to husbands^ 
wives, children, and relations, they leave people to 


teach themselves ; but the art of pleasing every body- 
else, as it is a thing of much greater importance, 
they take proportionably greater pains to instil into 
their disciples. 

I have, for some time past, b«en employed in re- 
ducing this art into a system, and have some thoughts 
of opening a subscription for a course of lectures on 
the subject. To qualify myself for the task, I have 
studied, with unwearied attention, the letters of the 
immortal Earl of Chesterfield, which I intend to use 
as my text-book on this occasion, allowing only for 
the difference which even a few years produce in an 
art so fluctuating as this. Before I lodge my sub- 
scription-paper with the booksellers, I wish to give a 
specimen of my abilities to the readers of the Mir- 
ror ; for which purpose I beg the favour of you to 
insert in your next number the following substance of 
Simulation. Our noble author, indeed, extends his 
doctrine to the length of dissimulation only, from 
which he distinguishes Simulation as something not 
quite so fair and honest. Bwt, for my part, I have 
not sufficient nicety of ideas to make the distinction, 
and would humbly recommend to every person who 
wishes to be thoroughly well bred, not to confuse his 
head with it. Taking, therefore, the shorter word 
as the more gentlemanlike, I proceeded to my sub- 
ject of 


« SIMULATION is the great basis of the art 
" which I have the honour to teach. I shall humbly 
" endeavour to treat this branch of my subject, though 
" much less ably, yet more scientifically than my 
" great master, by reducing it into a form like that 
" adopted by the professors of the other sciences, 
" and even borrowing from them some of the terms 
u by which I mean to illustrate it. 


44 This rule of false (to adopt an algebraical term) 
u I shall divide into two parts ; that which regards 
" the external figure of the man or woman ; and 
44 that which is necessary in the accomplishment of 
44 the rnmd, and its seeming developement to others. 
"*" Fashion may be termed the regulator of the 
44 first, decorum of the latter. But I must take this 
M opportuioity of informing my audience, that the sig» 
44 nification of words, when applied to persons of con- 
" dition, is often quite different from that which they 
44 are understood to bear in the ordinary standard of 
" language. With such persons (if I may be allowed 
"'so bold an expression) it may often be the fashion 
" to De unfashionable, and decorum to act against all 
u propriety ; good breeding may consist in rudeness, 
<4 and poHter.ess in being very impertinent. This 
44 will hold in the passive, as well as in the active of 
44 our art people of fashion will be pleased with 
44 such treatment from people of fashion, the natural 
44 feelings in this, as in the other, fine arts, giving 
44 way, amongst connoisseurs, to knowledge and 
4t taste. 

44 Having made this preliminary observation, I re- 
44 turn to my subject of Simulation. 

44 It will be found, that appearing what one is not, 
44 is, in both divisions of my subject, the criterion of 
44 politeness. The man who is rich enough to afford 
44 fine cloaths,- is, by this rule of false, intitled to 
44 wear very shabby ones ; while he who has a nar- 
44 row fortune is to be dressed in the brvcrse ratio to 
44 his finances. One corollary from this proposition 
44 is obvious : he who takes off his suit on credit', 
44 and has neither inclination nor ability to pay for it, 
44 is to be dressed the most expensively of the three. 
44 The same rule holds in houses, dinners, servants, 
44 horses, equipages, &c. and is to be followed, as 
44 far as the law will allow, even the length of bank- 
44 ruptcy, or, perhaps, a little beyond it. 


tC On the same principle, a simple Gentleman, or 
" Esquire, must, at all places of public resort, be 
<4 apparelled like a Gentleman or Esquire. A Baro- 
" net may take the liberty of a dirty shirt ; a Lord 
44 need not shew any shirt at all, but wear a hand- 
44 kerchief round his neck in its stead ; an Earl may 
44 add to all this a bunch of uncombed hair hanging 
44 down his back ; and a Duke, over and above the 
* 4 privileges above mentioned, is intitled to appear in 
44 boots and buck-skin breeches. 

44 Following the same rule of inversion, the scholar 
44 of a provincial dancing-master must bow at coming 
44 into, and going out of, a drawing room, and that pretty 
44 low too. The pupil of Gallini is to push forward 
4i with the rough stride of a porter, and make only 
44 a slight inclination of his head, when he has got 
44 into the middle of the room. At going out of it, 
M he is to take no notice of the company at all. 

44 In the externals of the female world, from the 
44 great complication of the machine, it is not easy 
44 to lay down precise regulations. Still, however, 
44 the rule of false may be traced as the governing 
44 principle. It is very feminine to wear a riding- 
44 habit and a smart cocked hat one half of the day ; 
44 because that dress approaches nearer to the mas- 
44 culine apparel than any other. It is very modest 
44 to lay open the greatest part of the neck and bosom 
44 to the view of the beholders ; and it is incumbent 
44 on those ladies, who occupy the front-row of a 
44 box at a play, to wear high feathers, and to wave 
44 them more unceasingly than any other ladies, be- 
44 cause otherwise the company who sit behind might 
44 be supposed to have some desire of seeing the 
44 stage. Since I have mentioned the theatre, I may 
44 re mirk (though it is foreign to this part of my 
44 discourse) that, in the most affecting scenes of a 
44 tragedy, it is polite to laugh ; whereas, in the or- 
44 dinary detail of the two first acts, it is not required 


" that a lady should make any greater noise than to 
u talk aloud to every one around her. 

" Simulation of Person, which is only, indeed, a 
" sort of dress, is also necessary among ladies of 
" fashion Nature is to be falsified, as well in those 
" parts of the shape which she has left small, as in 
" those she has made large. 

" The Simulation of Face, I am happy to find, 
" from an examination of the books of some perfu- 
" mers and colourmen of my acquaintance, is daily 
" gaining ground among the politer females of this 
" country. But it has hitherto been regulated by 
" principles somewhat different from those which 
f govern other parts of external appearance, laid 
" down in the beginning of this paper, as it is gene- 
" rally practised by those who are most under the 
" necessity of practising it. I would, therefore, hum- 
u bly recommend to that beautiful young lady, whom 
11 I saw'at the last assembly of the season, with a 
« coat of rouge on her cheeks, to lay it aside for 
M these three or four years at least : at present, it 
** too much resembles their natural colour to be pro- 
" per for her to wear — though, on second thoughts, 
" I believe I may retract my advice, as the laying 
" it on for a little while longer will reduce her skin 
" to that dingy appearance which the rule of false 
" allows to be converted, by paint, into the complex- 
« ion of lilies and roses." 

The second part of my observations on this subject 
I shall send you at some future period, if I find you 
so far approve of my design as to favour this with a 
speedy insertion. 

I am, &c. 





Non miki res, s€d me rebus, submittere conor. Hor. 

AS it is the business of the politician to bestow his 
chief attention on the encouragement and regulation 
of those members of the community, who contribute 
most to the strength and permanency of the state ; 
so it is the duty of the moral writer to employ his 
principal endeavours to regulate and correct those 
affections of the mind, which, when carried to excess, 
often obscure the most deserving characters, though 
they are seldom or never -to be found among the 

It is vain to think of reclaiming, by human means, 
those rooted vices which proceed from a depraved or 
unfeeling heart. Avarice is not to be overcome by 
a panegyric on generosity, nor cruelty and oppres- 
sion by the most eloquent display of the beauties of 
compassion and humanity. The moralist speaks to 
them a language they do not understand ; it is not 
therefore surprising, that they should neither be con- 
vinced nor reclaimed. I would not be understood to 
mean, that the enormity of a vice should free it from 
censure : on the contrary, I hold such glaring devi- 
ations from rectitude the most proper objects for the 
severest lash of satire, and that they should frequently 
be held up to public view, that, if the guilty cannot 
be reclaimed, the wavering may be confirmed, and 
the innocent warned to avoid the danger. 

But it is a no less useful, and a much more pleasing 
task, to endeavour to remove the veil that covers the 
lustre of virtue, and to point out, for the purpose of 
amending, those errors and imperfections which tar- 
nish deserving characters, which render them useless, 
in some cases hurtful, to society. 


Ajn honest ambition for that fame which ought t© 
follow superior talents, employed in the exercise of 
virtue, is one of the best and most useful passions that 
can take root in the mind of man ; and, in the lan- 
guage of the Roman poet, " Terrarum dominos eve- 
hit ad Deos ;*' — " Heroes lifts to gods." But when 
thir; laudable ambition happens to be joined with great 
delicacy of taste and sentiment, it is often the source 
of much misery and uneasiness. In the earlier peri- 
ods @f society, before mankind are corrupted by the 
excesses of luxury and refinement, the candidates for 
fame enter the lists upon equal terms, and with a 
reasonable degree of confidence, that the judgment 
of their fellow-citizens will give the preference where 
it is due. In such a contest, even the vanquished 
have no inconsiderable share of glory ; and that vir- 
tue which they cultivate, forbids them to withhold 
their respect and applause from the superiority by 
which they are overcome. Of this, the first ages of 
the Grecian and Roman republics are proper exam- 
ples, when merit was the only road to fame, because 
fame was the only reward of merit. 

Though it were unjust to accuse the present age 
of being totally regardless of merit, yet this will not 
be denied, that there are many other avenues which 
lead to distinction, many other qualities by which 
competitors carry away a prize, that, in less corrupt- 
ed times, could have been attained only by a steady 
perseverance in the paths of virtue. 

When a man of acknowledged honour and abilities, 
not unconscious of his worth, and possessed of those 
delicate feelings I have mentioned, sees himself set 
aside, and obliged to give way to the worthless and 
contemptible, whose vices are sometimes the means 
of their promotion, he is too apt to yield to disgust or 
despair ; that sensibility which, with better fortune, 
and placed in a more favourable situation* would have 
afforded him the most elegant pleasures, made him 



the delight of his friends, and an honour to his conn 
try, is in danger of changing him into a morose an . 
surly misanthrope, discontented with himself, the 
world, and all its enjoyments. 

This weakness (and I think it a grxat one) of quar- 
relling with the world, would never have been carri- 
ed the length I have lamented in some of my friends, 
had they allowed themselves to reflect on the folly of 
fupposing, that the opinions of the rest of mankind 
are to be governed by the standard which they have 
been pleased to erect, had they considered what a 
state of langour and insipidity would be produced, if 
every individual should have marked out to him the 
rank he was to hold, and the line in which he was t» 
move, without any danger of being jostled in his pro- 

The Author of Nature has diversified the mind of 
man with different and contending passions, which 
are brought into action as chance or circumstances 
direct, or as he is pleased to order in the wisdom of 
his providence. Our limited faculties, far from com- 
prehending the universal scale of being, or taking in 
at one glance what is best and fittest for the purposes 
of creation; cannot even determine the best mode of 
governing the little spot that surrounds us. 

I believe most men have, at times, wished to be 
creators, possessed of the power of moulding the 
world to their fancy ; but they would act more wisely 
to mould their own prepossessions and prejudices to 
the standard of the world, which may be done, in 
every age and situation, without transgressing the 
bounds of the most rigid virtue. A distaste at man- 
kind never fails to produce peevishness and discon- 
tent, the most unrelenting tyrants that ever swayed 
the human breast ; that cloud which they cast upon 
the soul, shuts out every ray that should warm to 
manly exertion, and hides, in the bosom of indolence 
and spleen, virtues formed to illumine the mind, 

VOL. I. S 


I must, therefore, earnestly recommend to my 
readers to guard against the first approaches of mis- 
anthropy, by opposing reason to sentiment, and re- 
flecting on the injury they do themselves and society, 
by tamely retreating from injustice. The passive vir- 
tues onhy are fit to be buried in a cloister ; the firm 
and active mind disdains to recede, and rises upon 

The cultivation of cheerfulness and good-humour, 
will be found another sovereign antidote to this mental 
disorder. They are the harbingers of virtue, and 
produce that serenity which disposes the mind to 
friendship, love, gratitude, and every other social af- 
fection ; they make us contented with ourselves, our 
friends, and our situation, and expand the heart to all 
the interests of humanity. 



To the Author of the Mirror. 

ACCORDING to my promise, I send you the se- 
cond division of my lecture on Simulation, as it re- 
spects the internal part of the science of politeness. 

" Among barbarous nations, it has been observed, 
" the emotions of the mind are not more violently 
" felt than strongly expressed. Grief, anger and 
" jealousy, not only tear the heart, but disfigure the 
" countenance ; while love, joy and mirth, have their 
" opposite effects on the soul, and are visible, by op- 
" posite appearances, in the aspect. Now, as a very 
" refined people are in a state exactly the reverse of 
" a very rude one, it follows, that, instead of allow- 


ing the passions thus to lord it over their minds 
and faces, it behoves them to mitigate and restrain 
those violent emotions, both in feeling and appear- 
ance ; the latter, at least, is within the power of art 
and education, and to regulate it is the duty of a 
well-bred person. On this truly philosophical prin- 
ciple is founded that ease, indifference, or non- 
chalance, which is the great mark of a modern 
man of fashion. 

" That instance of politeness which I mentioned 
(somewhat out of place indeed) in the first part of 
this discourse, the conduct of a fine lady at a tra- 
gedy, is to be carried into situations of real sorrow 
as much as possible. Indeed, though it may seem 
a bold assertion, I believe the art of putting on in- 
difference, about the real object, is not a whit more 
difficult than that of assuming it about the theatri- 
cal. I have known several ladies and gentlemen 
who have acquired the first in perfection, without 
being able to execute the latter, at least to execute 
it in that masterly manner which marks the per- 
formances of an adept. One night, last winter, I 
heard Bob Bustle talking from a front-box, to an 
acquaintance in the pit, about the death of their 
late friend Jack Riot. — " Riot is dead, Tom ; 
kick'd-this morning, egad ["— " Riot dead I poor 
Jack 1 what did he die of?" — " One of your dam- 
nation apoplectics kill'd him in the chucking of a 
bumper ; you could scarce have heard him w'hea- 
zle ! — u Damn'd bad that ! Jack was an honest fel- 
low ! — What becomes of his grey poney ? — " The 
poney is mine." — Yours 1" — Why, yes ; I staked 
my white and liver-coloured bitch Phillis against 
the grey poney. Jack's life to mine for the season." 

At that instant, a lady entering the box (it was 

about the middle of the fourth act) obliged Bob to 
shift his place ; he sat out of ear-shot of his friend 
in the pit, biting his naiis. and looking towards the 


" stage, in a sort of nothing-to doish way, just as the 
" last parting scene between Jaffier and Belvidera was 
" going on there. I observed (I confess, with regret, 
" for he is one of my favourite pupils) the progress 
u of its victory over Bob's politeness. He first grew 
" attentive, then humm'd a tune, then grew attentive 
" again, then took out his toothpick case, then looked 
" at the players in spite of him, then grew serious, 

" then agitated till, at last, he was fairly beat out 

" of his ground, and obliged to take shelter behind 
" Lady Cockatoo's head, to prevent the disgrace of 
" being absolutely seen weeping. 

" But, to return from this digression. This Si- 

" mulation of indifference in affliction is equally a 
'« female as a male accomplishment. On the death 
" of a very, very near relation, a husband, for in- 
" stance, cu&tom has established a practice, which 
" polite people have not yet been able to overcome ; 
w a lady must stay at home, and play at cards for a 
* week or two. But the decease of any one more dis- 
" tant, she is to talk of as a matter of very little moment, 
" except when it happens on the eve of an assembly, 
M a ball, or a ridotto ; at such seasons she is allowed 
" to regret it as a very unfortunate accident. This 
" rule of deportment extends to distresses poignant 
" indeed ; as, in perfect good-breeding, the fall of a 
M set of Dresden, the spilling of a plate of soup on 
M a new brocade, or even a bad run of cards, is to be; 
4 ' borne with as equal a countenance as may be. 

" Anger, the second passion above enumerated, rs 
M to be covered with the same cloak of ease and good 
" manners ; injury, if of a deep kind, with profes- 
" sions of esteem and friendship. Thus, though it 
k( would be improper. to squeeze a gentleman's hand,. 
u and call him my dear Sir, or my best friend, when 
u we mean to hit him a slap on the face, or to throw a 
" bottle at his head ; yet it is perfectly consistent 
" with politeness, to shew him all those marks of ci- 


44 vility and kindness, when we intend to strip him o/ 
44 his fortune at play, to counterplot him at an elec- 
" tion, or to seduce his wife. The last-mentioned 
" particular should naturally lead to the consideration 
44 of jealousy ; but on this it is needless to insist, as, 
" among well-bred people, the feeling itself is quite 
44 in disuse. 

u Love is one of those passions which politeness 
" lays us under a particular obligation to disguise, as 
" the discovery of it to third persons is peculiarly of- 
" fensive and disagreeable. Therefore, when a man 
" happens to sit by a tolerably handsome girl, for 
44 whom he does not care a farthing, he is at liberty 
" to kiss her hand, call her an angel, and tell her 
44 he dies for her ; but, if he has a real tendrc for her, 
44 he is to stare in her face with a broad unfeeling 
44 look, tell her she looks monstrous ill this evening, 
• 4 and that her coiffeuse has pinned her cap shocking- 
44 ly awry. From not attending to the practice of 
44 this rule amongst people of fashion, the inferior 
44 world has been led to imagine, that matrimony 
M with them is a state of indifference or aversion ; 
44 whereas, in truth, the appearances from which 
44 that judgment is formed, are the strongest indica- 
44 tions of connubial happiness and affection. 

44 On the subject of joy, or at least of mirth, that 
44 great master of our art, my Lord Chesterfield, has 
44 been precise in his directions. He does not allow 
44 of laughter at all ; by which, however, he is to be 
44 understood as only precluding that exercise as a 
" sign, common with the vulgar, of internal satisfac- 
44 tion : it is by no means to be reprobated as a dis- 
14 guise for chagrin, or an engine of wit ; it is, in- 
44 deed the readiest of all repartees, and will often 
44 give a man of fashion the victory over an inferior, 
44 with every talent, but that of assurance, on his 
« side. 

s 2 


" As the passions and affections, so are the vir- 
u tues of a polite man to be carefully concealed or 
M disguised. In this particular, our art goes far bey- 
il ond the rules of philosophers, or the precepts of 
M the Bible : they enjoined men not to boast of their 
** virtues ; we teach them to brag of their vices, 
" which is certainly a much sublimer pitch of self- 
" denial. Besses, the merit of disinterestedness lies 
u altogether on fl\ir side, the disciples of those anti- 
" quatcd teachers expecting, as they confess, a re- 
" ward somewhere ; our conduct has only the pure 
M consciousness of acting like a man of fashion for 
" its recompence, as we evidently profit nothing by 
" it at present, and the idea of future retribution, 
" were we ever to admit of it, is rather against us." 

Such, Mr. Mirror, is the substance of one of my 
\ectures, which, I think, promise so much edification 

our country (yet only in an improving state with 
regard to the higher and more refined parts of po- 
liteness) that it must be impossible for your patriotism 
to refuse their encouragement. If you insert this in 
your next paper (if accompanied with some commen- 
datory paragraphs of your own, so much the better.) 
I shall take care to present you with a dozen admission 
tickets, as soon as the number of my subscribers ena- 
bles me to begin my course. 

I have the honour to be, &c. 

V Simulator. 



Sit mihi fas audita ioqui. . , Virc. 

PASSING the Exchange a few days ago I per- 
ceived a little before me a short, plump-looking man, 
seeming to set his watch by St. Giles's clock, which 
had just then struck two. On observing him a little 
more closely, I recognised Mr. Blubber, with whom I 
had become acquainted at the house of my friend 
Umphraville's cousin, Mr. Bearskin. He also recol- 
lected me, and shaking me cordially by the hand, told 
me he was just returned safe from his journey to the 
Highlands, and had been regulating his watch by our 
town-clock, as he found the sun did not go exactly 
in the Highlands as it did in the Low country. He 
added, that, if I would come and eat a Welsh-rabbit, 
and drink a glass of punch with him and his family 
that evening, at their lodgings hard by,theywouldgive' 
me an account of their expedition. He said, they found 
my description of things a very just one : and was 
pleased to add, that his wife and daughters had taken 
a very great liking to me ever since the day that we 
met at his friend Bearskin's. After this, it was im- 
possible to resist his invitation, and 1 went to his 
lodgings in the evening accordingly, where I found 
all the family assembled, except Mr. Edward, whom 
they accounted for in the history of their expedi- 

I could not help making one preliminary observa- 
tion, that it was much too early in the season for view- 
ing the country to advantage ; but to this Mr. Blub- 
ber had a very satisfactory answer; they were resolved 
to complete their tour before the new tax upon post- 
horses should be put in execution. 

The first place they visited after they left Edin- 
totfgh was Carron, which Mr. Blubber seemed to 


prefer to any place he had seen ; but the ladies did 
not appear to have relished it much. The mother 
said, " She had like to have fell into a fit at the noise 
* of the great bellows.'* Miss Blubber agreed, that 
it was monstrous frightful indeed. Miss Betsy had 
spoiled her petticoat in getting in, and said it was a 
nasty place, not fit for genteel people, in her opinion. 
Blubber put on his wisest face, and observed, that 
women did not know the use of them things. There 
was much the same difference in their sentiments 
with regard to the Great Canal ; Mr. Blubber took 
out a bit of paper, on which he had marked down 
the lockage duty received in a week there ; he shook 
his head, however, and said, he was sorry to find the 
shares were below par. 

Of Stirling, the young ladies remarked, that the 
view from the castle was very fine, and the windings 
of the river very curious. But neither of them had 
ever been at Richmond. Mrs. Bubber, who had been 
oftener than once there, told us, " that from the hill 
« was a much grander prospect ; that the river 
" Thames made two twists for one that the Forth 
** made at Stirling ; besides, there was a wood so 
" charming thick, that, unless when you got to a 
M rising ground, like what the Star and Garter 
" stands on, you could scarce see a hundred yards 
" before you." 

Tay mouth seemed to strike the whole family. The 
number and beauty of the temples were taken parti- 
cular notice of; nor was the trimness of the walks 
and hedges without commendation. Miss Befrey 
Blubber declared herself charmed with the shady 
walk by the side of the Tay, and remarked, what an 
excellent fancy it was to shut out the view of the ri- 
ver, so that you might hear the stream without seeing 
it. Mr. Blubber, however, objected to the vicinity 
of the hills, and Mrs. Blubber to that of the lake, 
•which Bhe was sure must be extremely unwholesome. 


To this circumstance she imputed her rheumatism, 
which she told us, " had been very troublesome to 
" her the first night she lay'd there ; but that she 
u had always the precaution of carrying a bottle of 
M Beaume de Vie in the chaise, and that a dose of it 
" had effectually cured her." 

The ladies were delighted with the Hermitage. 
Mrs. Blubber confessed, " she was somewhat afeard 
" at first to trust herself with the guide, down a dark 
" narrow path, to the Lord knows where ; but then 
u it was so charming when he let. in the light upon 
" them.'* — " Yes, and so natural," said her eldest 
daughter, " with the flowers growing out of the wall, 
" and the Bear-skins so pure osoft for the Hermit to 

" sleep on." " And their garter-blue colour so 

" lively and so pretty," said Miss Betsy ; " I vow I 

''• could have stay'd there for ever. You wa'n't 

" there, Papa." ."No," replied he, rather sul- 
lenly, " but I saw one of them same things at Dun- 
" keld, next day." — The young ladies declared they 
were quite different things, and that no judgment 
could be formed of the one from the other ; upon 
which Mr. Blubber began to grow angry ; and Mrs. 
Blubber interposing, put an end to th» question ; 
whispering me at the same time, that her husband 
had fallen asleep, after a hearty dinner at the inn 
near Tay mouth, and that she and her children had 
gone to see the Hermitage without him. I was far- 
ther informed, that Mr. Edward Blubber had left 
their party at this place, having gone along with two 
English gentlemen whom he met there, to see a great 
many curiosities farther off in the Highlands. " For 
" my part," said Blubber, " though I was told it was 
" a great way off, and over terrible mountains, as 
" indeed we could perceive them to be from the win- 
" dows, I did not care to hinder his going, as I like 
w to see spirit in a young man." 


The rest of the family returned by the way of 
Eunkeld, which the ladies likewise commended as a 
monstrous pleasant place. Mr. Blubber dissented a 
little, saying, «* he could not see the pleasure of al- 
" ways looking at the same things ; hills, and wood, 
4i and water, over and over again. The river here, 
" he owned, was a pretty rural thing enough ; but, 
u for his part he should think it much more lively if 
" it had a few ships and lighters on it." Miss Blub- 
ber did not agree with him as to the ships and light- 
ers ; but she confessed, she thought a little company 
would improve it a good deal. Miss Betsy differed 
from both, and declared, she relished nothing so 
much as solitude and retirement. This led to a de- 
scription of a second hermitage they had visited at 
this place, from which, and some of the grottos ad- 
joining, Miss Betsy had taken down some sweet co- 
pies of verses, as she called them, in her memoran- 
dum-book. The fall of water here had struck the 
family much. Mrs. Blubber observed, how like it 
was to the cascade at Vauxhall ; her eldest daughter 
remarked, however, that the fancy of looking at it 
through panes of different coloured glass in the Her- 
mitage-room, was an improvement on that at Spring- 

The bridge at Perth was the last section of the 
family journal that we discoursed on. The ladies 
had inadvertently crossed it in the carriage to see the 
palace at Scone, at which they complained there was 
nothing to be seen ; and Mr. Blubber complained of 
the extravagance of the toll on the bridge, which he 
declared was higher than at Blackfriars. He was 
assured, however, that he had paid no more than the 
legal charge, by his landlord, Mr. Marshall, at whose 
house he received some consolation from an excellent 
dinner, and a bed, he said, which the Lord Mayor 
of London might have laid on. w I hope there is 
" no offence (continued Mr. Blubber, very politely ;) 


" as I understand the landlord is an Englishman ; 
" but at the King's Arms, I met with the only real 
" good buttered toast that I have seen in Scotland." 
But however various were the remarks of the fa- 
mily on the particulars of their journey in detail, I 
found they had perfectly settled their respective opi- 
nions of travelling in general. The ladies had form- 
ed their conclusion, that it was monstrous pleasant, 
and the gentleman his, that it was monstrous dear. 


WHEN I. first undertook this publication, it was 
suggested by some of my friends, and, indeed, ac- 
corded entirely with my own ideas, that there should 
be nothing of religion in it. There is a sacredness 
in the subject that might seem profaned by its intro- 
duction into a work, which, to be extensively read, 
must sometimes be ludicrous, and often ironical. This 
consideration will apply, in the strongest manner, to 
any thing mystic or controversial ; but it may per- 
haps, admit of an exception, when religion is only 
introduced as a feeling, not a system, as appealing to 
the sentiments of the heart, not to the disquisitions 
of the head. The following stcry holds it up in that 
light, and is therefore, I think, admissible into the 
Mirror. It was sent to my editor as a translation 
from the French. Of this my readers will judge. 
Perhaps they might be apt to suspect, without any 
suggestion from me, that it is an original, not a 
translation. Indeed, I cannot help thinking, that it 
contains in it much of that picturesque description, 
and that power of awakening the tender feelings, 



which so remarkably distinguish the composition of 
a gentleman whose writings I have often read with 
pleasure. But, be that as it may, as 1 felt myself 
interested in the narrative, and believed that it would 
aflect my readers in the like manner, 1 have ventured 
to give it entire as I received it, though it will take 
up the room of three successive papers. 

To the Author of the Mirror, 


"MORE than forty years ago, an English philoso- 
pher, whose works have since been read and admired 
by all Europe, resided at a little town in France. 
Some disappointments in his native country had first 
driven him abroad, and he was afterwards induced 
to remain there, from having found, in his retreat, 
where the connections even of nation and language 
were avoided, a perfect seclusion and retirement 
highly favourable to the developement of abstract 
subjects, in which he excelled all the writers of his 

Perhaps, in the structure of such a mind as Mr. 
■ — 's, the finer and more delicate sensibilities are 
seldom known to have place, or, if originally implant- 
ed there, are in a great measure extinguished by 
the exertions of intense study and profound investi- 
gation. Hence the idea of philosophy and unfeeling- 
ness being united, has become proverbial, and in 
common language, the former word is often used to 
express the latter. — Our philosopher has been cen- 
sured by some, as deficient in warmth and feeling : 
but the mildness of his manners has been allowed by 
all ; and it is certain, that, if he was not easily melted 
into compassion, it was, at least, not difficult to awa- 
ken his benevolence. 



One morning, while he sat busied in those specu- 
lations, which afterwards astonished the world, an 
old female domestic, who served him for a house- 
keeper, brought him word, that an elderly gentleman 
and his daughter had arrived in the village, the pre- 
ceding evening, on their way to some distant country, 
and that the father had been suddenly seized in the 
night with a dangerous disorder, which the people 
of the inn where they lodged feared would prove 
mortal : that she had been sent for, as having some 
knowledge in medicine, the viilage-surgeon being 
then absent ; and that it was truly piteous to see the 
good old man, who seemed not so much afflicted by 
his own distress as by that which it caused to his 

daughter, Her mrister laid aside the volume in 

his hand, and broke off the chain of ideas it had in- 
spired. His night-gown was exchanged for a coat, 
and he followed his gouverncuitc to the sick man's 

'Twas the best in the little inn where they lay, 

but a paltry one notwithstanding. Mr. was 

obliged to stoop as he entered it. It was floored with 
earth, and above were the joists not plastered, and 
hung with cobwebs. — On a flock bed, at one end, lay 
the old man he came to visit ; at the foot of it sat his 
daughter. She was dressed in a clean white bed- 
gown ; her dark locks hung loosely over it as she 
bent forward, watching the languid looks of her fa- 
ther. Mr. and his housekeeper had stood 

some moments in the room without the young lady's 
being sensible of their entering it.— .'•' Mademoi- 
" selle 1" said the old woman at last in a soft tone, 
— She turned and shewed one of the finest faces in 
the world. — It was touched, not spoiled with sorrow; 
and when she perceived a stranger, whom the old 
woman now introduced to her, a blush at first, and 
then the gentle ceremonial of native politeness, which 
the affliction of the time tempered, but did not ex- 

VOL. I. t 

2C8 TH£ MIllKOR. 

tinguish, crossed it for a moment, and changed its 
expression. 'Twaa sweetness all, howe\er, and our 
philosopher felt it strongly. It was not a time for 
words ; he offered his services in a few sincere ones. 
** Monsieur lies miserably ill here," said the gouver- 
nante ; " if he could possibly be moved any where." 
— . — " If he could be moved to our house," said 
her master. — He had a spare bed for a friend, 
and there was a garret room unoccupied, next to the 
gouvernante's. It was contrived accordingly. The 
scruples of the stranger, who could look scruples, 
though he could not speak them, were overcome, and 
the bashful reluctance 6f his daughter gave way to 
her belief of its use to her father. The sick man 
was wrapt in blankets, and carried across the street 
to the English gentleman's. The old woman helped 
his daughter to nurse him there. The surgeon, who 
arrived soon after, prescribed a little, and nature did 
much for him ; in a week he was able to thank his 

By this time his host had learned the name and 
character of his guest. He was a protestant clergy- 
man of Switzerland, called La Roche, a widower, who 
had lately buried his wife, after a long and lingering 
illness, for which travelling had been prescribed, and 
was now returning home, after an ineffectual and 
melancholy journey, with his only child, the daughter 
we have mentioned. 

He was a devout man, as became his profession. 
He possessed devotion in all its warmth, but with 
none of its asperity ; I mean that asperity. which men, 

called devout, sometimes indulge in. Mr. , 

though he felt no devotion, never quarrelled with it 
in others. His gouvemante joined the old man and 
his daughter in the prayers and thanksgivings which 
they put up on his recovery ; for she, too, was a he- 
retic, in the phrase of the village. The philoso- 
pher walked out, with his long staff and his dog, and 


left them to their prayers and thanksgivin^s.- 

Ci My master," said the old woman, " alas ! he is 
" not a Christian ; but lie is the- best of unbeliev- 
« ers." " Not a Christian !" —exclaimed Ma- 
demoiselle La Roche, " yet he saved my lather 1 
" Heaven bless him for't ; I would he were a Chris- 
" tianl" " There is a- pride in human knowledge, 
" my child," s?'A her father, " which often blind 
4 men to the sublime truths of revelation ; hence 
u opposers of Christianity are found among men of 
" virtuous lives, as well as among those of dissipated 
«' and licentious characters. Nay, sometimes I have 
" known the latter more easily converted to the true 
" faith than the former, because the fume of passion 
<; is more easily dissipated than the mist of false 
" theory and delusive speculation." — "But Mr.—," 
said his daughter, " alas 1 my father, he shall be a 

" Christian before he dies." She was interrupted 

by the arrival of their landlord. He took her hand 

with an air of kindness : She drew it away from 

him in silence ; threw down her eyes to the ground, 

and left the room. " I have been thanking God," 

said the good La Roche, " for my recovery." " That 
" is right," replied his landlord — u I would not wish" 
continued the old man, hesitatingly, " to think otber- 
" wise ; did I not look up with gratitude to that Be- 
44 ing, I. should barely be satisfied with my recovery, 
" as a continuation of life, which, it may be, is not a 
" real good : — Alas 1 I may live to wish 1 had died, 
(i that you had left me to die, Sir, instead of kindly 
" relieving me (he clasped Mr. — r-'s hand ;) but, 
" when I look on this renovated being as the gift of 
" the Almighty, I feel a far different sentiment — 
" my heart dilates with gratitude and love to him ; 
«' it is prepared for doing 1 is will, not as a duty but 
" as a pleasure, and regards every breach of it, not 
44 with disapprobation, but with horror." — u You say 
•' right, my dear Sir," replied the philosopher ; 4i but 

2 20 THE MIRK OR. 

" you arc not yet re- established enough to talk much 
** — you must take care of your health, and neither 
" study nor preach for some time. 1 have been 
" thinking over a scheme that struck me to-day, 
" when you mentioned your intended departure. I 
t; never was in Switzerland ; 1 have a great mind to 
" accompany your daughter and you into that coun- 
<» try. — 1 will help to take care of /ou by the road ; 
rt for, as I was your first physician, I hold myself 
" responsible for your cure." La Roche's eyes glis- 
tered at the proposal , his daughter was called in and 
told of it. She was equally pleased with her father; 
for they really loved their landlord — not perhaps the 
less for his infidelity ; at least that circumstance 
mixed a sort of pity with their regard for him — their 
souls were not of a mould for harsher feelings ; hatred 
never dwelt in them. 



THEY travelled by short stages ; for the philoso- 
pher was as good as his word, in taking care that the 
old man should not be fatigued. The party had time 
to be well acquainted with one another, and their 
friendship was increased by acquaintance. La Roche 
found a degree of simplicity and gentleness in his 
companion, which is not always annexed to the cha- 
racter of a learned or a wise man. His daughter, 
who was prepared to be afraid of him, was equally 
undeceived. She found in him nothing of that self- 
importance which superior parts, or great cultivation 
of them, is apt to confer. He talked of every thine; 


but philosophy or reiigion ; he seemed to enjoy every 
pleasure and amusement of ordinary life, and to be 
interested in the most common topics of discourse ; 
when his knowledge or learning at any time appeared, 
it was delivered with the utmost plainness, and with- 
out the least shadow of dogmatism. 

On his part, he was charmed with the society of 
the good clergyman and his lovely daughter. He 
found in them the guileless manner of the earliest 
times, with the culture and accomplishment of the 
most refined ones. Every better feeling, warm and 
vivid ; every ungentle one, repressed or overcome. 
He was not addicted to love ; but he felt himself 
happy in being the friend of Mademoiselle La Roche, 
and sometimes envied her father the possession of 
such a child. 

After a journey of eleven days, they arrived at the 
dwelling of La Roche. It was situated in one of 
those valleys of the canton of Berne, where nature 
stems to repose, as it were, in quiet, and has en- 
closed her retreat with mountains inaccessible. ■ 

A stream, that spent its fury in the hills above, ran in 
front of the house, and a broken water-fall was seen 
through the wood that covered its sides ; below, it 
circled round a tufted plain, and formed a little lake 
in front of a village, at the end of which appeared 
the spire of La Roche's church, rising above a clump 
of beeches. 

Mr. enjoyed the beauty of the scene ; but, 

to his companions, it recalled the memory of a wife 
and parent they had lost. — The old man's sorrow was 
silent ; his daughter sobbed and wept. Her father 
took her hand, kissed it twice, pressed it to his bo- 
som, threw up his eyes to heaven ; and, having wiped 
off a tear that was just about to drop from each, be- 
£an to point out to his guest some of the most strik- 
ing objects which the prospect afforded. The philo- 

t 2 

212 THE jtflRROR. 

sopher interpreted all this ; and he could but slightly 
censure the creed from which it arose. 

They had not been long arrived, when a number 
of La Roche's parishioners, who had heard of his re- 
turn, came to the house to see and welcome him. 
The honest folks were awkward, but sincere, in their 
professions of regard.— They made some attempts of 
condolence ; — it was tco delicate for their handling ; 
but La Roche took it in good part. " It has pleased 
God"— said he ; and they saw he had settled the 
matter with himself. — Philosophy could hot have 
done so much with a thousand words. 

It was now evening, and the good peasants were 
about to depart, when a clock was heard to strike 
seven, and the hour was followed by a particular 
chime. The country lolks, who had come to wel- 
come their pastor, turned their looks towards him at 
the sound ; he explained their meaning to his guest. 

* That is the signal," said he, " for our evening ex- 

* ercise ; this is one of the nights of the week in 
* 4 which some of my parishioners are wont to join 
11 in it ; a little rustic saloon serves for the chapel of 
" our family, and such of the good people as are 
<l with us ;— if you chuse rather to walk out, I will 
i; furnish you with an attendant ; or here are a fetf 
t; old books that may aflbrd you some entertainment 
" within."—" By no means," answered the philoso- 
pher ; " I- will attend Ma'moiselle at her devotions." 
— " Ske is our organist," said La Roche ; " our 
w neighbourhood is the country of musical mechan- 
** ism : and I have a small organ fitted up for the 
*'* purpose of assisting our singing." — " 'Tis an addi- 
" tional inducement," replied the other ; and they 
walked into the room together. At the end stood 
the organ mentioned by La Roche $ before it was a 
curtain, which his daughter drew aside, and, placing 
herself on a seat within, and drawing the curtain 
close, so as to save her the awkwardness of an ex» 

TriR MIRROR. 313 

tiibition, began a voluntary, solemn and beautiful in 

the highest degree. Mr. - — was no musician, 

but he was not altogether insensible to music ; this 
fastened on his mind more strongly, from its beauty 
being unexpected. The solemn prelude introduced a 
hymn, in which such of the audience as could sing* 
immediately joined ; the words were mostly taken 
from holy writ ; it spoke the praises of God, and his 
care of good men. Something was said of the death 

of the just, of such as die in the Lord. The organ 

Mas touched with a hand less firm ; — it paused, it 
ceased ; — and the sobbing of Ma'moiselle La Roche 
was heard in its stead. Her father gave a sign for 
stopping the psalmody, and rose to pray. He was 
discomposed at first, and his voice faultere"d as he 
spoke ; but his heart was in his words, and his 
warmth overcame his tmbarrassment. He addressed 
a Being whom he loved, and he spoke for those he 
loved. His parishioners catched the ardour of the 
good old man ; even the philosopher felt himself 
moved, and forgot, for a moment, to think why he 
should not. 

La Roche's religion was that of sentiment, not 
theory, and his guest was averse from disputation ; 
their discourse, therefore, did not lead to questions 
concerning the belief of either ; yet would the old 
man sometimes speak of his, from the fullness of a 
heart impressed with its force, and wishing to spread 
the pleasure he enjoyed in it. The ideas of his 
God, and his Saviour, were so congenial to his miild* 
that every emotion of it naturally awaked them.- A 
philosopher might have called him an enthusiast ; 
but, if he possessed the fervour of enthusiasts ; he 
was guiltless of their bigotry. " Our Father which 
44 art in heaven V might the good man say — for he 
felt it — and all mankind were his brethren. 

4 - You regret my friend," said he to Mr. ---, 

" when my daughter and I talk of the exquisite pled- 


" sure derived from music^ you regret your want of 
" musical powers and musical feelings ; it is a de- 
" partment of soul, you say, which nature has almost 
U denied you. which from the effects you see it have 
cl on others, you are sure must be highly delightful. 
« — Why should not the same thing be said of refi- 
" gion I Trust" me, I feel it in the same way, an 
" energy, an inspiration, which I would not lose for 
" all the blessings of sense, or enjoyments of the 

world ; yet, so far from lessening my relish of the 
" pleasures of life, methinks I feel it heighten them 
" all. The thought of receiving it from God, adds 
" the blessing of sentiment to that of sensation in 
" every good thing I possess ; and when calamities 

Ck overtake me and I have had my share— it 

44 confers a dignity on my affliction, so lifts me 

" above the vorid. Man, I know, is but a worm 

" — yet, methinks, I am then allied to God !" — It 
would have been inhuman in our philosopher to have 
cjouded, even with a doubt, the sunshine of this be- 

His discourse, indeed, was very remote from meta- 
physical disquisition, or religious controversy. Of 
all men I ever knew, his ordinary conversation was 
the least tinctured with pedantry, or liable to disserta- 
tion. With La Roche and his daughter, it was per- 
fectly familiar. The country round them, the man- 
ners of the village, the comparison of both with those 
of England, remarks on the works of fatourite au- 
thors, on > the sentiments they conveyed, and the 
passions they excited, with many other topics in 
which there was an equality, or alternate advantage, 
among the speakers were the subjects they talked on. 
Their hours too of riding and walking were many, 

in which Mr. , as a stranger, was shewn 

the remarkable scenes and curiosities of the country. 
They would sometimes m:ke little expeditions to 
contemplate, in different attitudes, those astonishing 


mountains, the cliffs of which, covered with eternal 
snows, and sometimes shooting into fantastic shapes, 
form the termination of most of the Swiss prospects. 
Our philosopher asked many questions as to their na- 
tural history and productions. La Roche observed 
the sublimity of the ideas which the view of their 
stupendous summits, inaccessible to mortal foot, was 
calculated to inspire, which naturally, said he, leads 
the mind to that Being by whom their foundations 
were laid. — " They are not seen in Flanders i" said 
Ma'moiselle with a sigh. u That's an odd remark," 

said Mr. , smiling. She blushed, and he 

enquired no farther. 

'Twas with regret he left a society in which he 
found himself so happy ; but he settled with La Roche 
and his daughter a plan of correspondence ; and they 
took his promise, that, if ever he came within fifty 
leagues of their dwelling, he should travel those fifty 
leagues to visit them. 



ABOUT three years after, our philosopher was 
on a visit at Geneva ; the promise he made to La 
Roche and his daughter, on his former visit, was re- 
called tD his mind, by the view of that range of 
mountains, on a part of which they had often looked 
together. There was a reproach, too, conveyed along 
with the recollection, for his having failed to write 
to either for several months past. The truth was, 
that indolence was the habit most natural to him., from 
which he was not easily roused by the claims of cor- 


respondence either of his friends or of his enemies -, 
when the latter drew their pens in controversy, they 
were often unanswered, as well as the former. While 
he was hesitating about a visit to La Roche, which 
he wished to make, but found the effort rather too 
much for him, he received a letter frcvm the old man,, 
which had been forwarded to him from Paris, where 
he had then his fixed residence. It contained a gen- 
tle complaint of Mr. 's w r ant of punctuality,, 
but an assurance of continued gratitude for his former 
good offices ^ and, as a friend whom the writer con- 
sidered interested in his family, it informed him of 
the approaching nuptials of Ma'moiselle La Roche, 
with a young man, a relation of her own, and for- 
merly a pupil of her father's, of the most amiable dis- 
position, and respectable character. Attached from 
their earliest years, they had been separated by his 
joining one of the subsidiary regiments of the Can- 
ton, then in the service of a foreign power. In this 
situation, he had distinguished himself as much for 
courage and military skill, as for the other endow- 
ments which he had cultivated at home. The term 
of his service was now expired, and they expected 
him to return in a few weeks, when the old man 
hoped, as he expressed it in his letter, to join their 
hands, and see them happy before he died. 

Our philosopher felt himself interested in this 
event ; but he was not, perhaps, altogether so happy 
in the tidings of Ma'moiselle La Roche's marriage, 
as her father supposed him. — Not that he was ever a 
lover of the lady's ; but he thought her oue of the 
most amiable women he had seen, and there was 
something in the idea of her being another's for ever, 
that struck him, he knew not why, like a disappoint- 
ment. — After some little speculation on the matter, 
however, he could lock on it as a thing fitting, if not 
quite agreeable-, and determined on this visit to sec 
his old friend and his daughter happy. 


On the last day of his journey, different accidents 
had retarded his progress ; he was benighted before 
he reached the quarter, in which La Roche resided. 
His guide, however, was well acquainted with the 
road, and he found himself at last in view of the lake, 
which I have before described, in the neighbourhood 
of La Roche's dwelling. A light gleamed on the 
water, that seemed to proceed from the house ; it 
moved slowly along as he proceeded up the side of 
the lake, and at last he saw it glimmer through the 
trees, and stop at some distance from the place where 
he then was. He supposed it some piece of bridal 
merriment, and pushed on his horse, that he might 
be a spectator of the scene ; but he was a good deal 
shocked, on approaching the spot, to find it proceeded 
from the torch of a person clothed in the dress of 
an attendant on a funeral, and accompanied by se- 
veral others, who, like him, seemed to have been 
employed in the rites of sepulture. 

On Mr. 's making enquiry who was the 

person they had been burying ? one of them, with an 
accent more mournful than is common to their pro- 
fession, answered, " then you knew not Mademoi- 
" selle, Sir ? — you never beheld a lovelier" — " La 
" Roche 1" exclaimed he in reply — M Alas ! it was 
'• she indeed 1" — The appearance of surprize and grief 
which his countenance assumed, attracted the notice 
of the peasant with whom he talked.— He came up 
closer to Mr. ■« — ; M I perceive, Sir, you were 
" acquainted with Mademoiselle La Roche." — " Ac- 
* ; quainted with her I — Good God i — when — !vow — . 
" where did she die ? — Where is her father r" — 
u She died, Sir, of heart-break, I believe ; the young 
u gentleman to whom she was soon to have been 
u married, was killed in a duel by a French officer, 
" his intimate companion, and to whom, before their 
" quarrel, he had often done the greatest favours. 
" Her worthy father bears her death, as he has often 


" told us a Christian should ; he is even so composed 
" as to be now in his pulpit, ready to deliver a few 
" exhortations to his parishioners, as is the custom 
" with us on such occasions : — follow me, Sir, and 
" you shall hear him." — Ke followed the man with- 
out answering. 

The church was dimly lighted, except near the 
pulpit, where the venerable La Roche was seated. 
His people were now lifting up their voices in a psalm 
to that Being whom their pastor had taught them 
ever to bless and to revere. La Roche sat, his fi- 
gure bending gently forward, his eyes half-closed, 
lifted tip in silent devotion. A lamp placed near 
him threw its light strong on his head, and marked 
the shadowy lines of age across the paleness of his 
brow, thinly covered with grey hairs. 

The music ceased ; — La Roche sat for a moment, 
and nature wrung a few tears from him. His peo- 
ple were loud in their grief. Mr. was not 

less affected than tjiey. — La Roche arose. — " Father 
" of Mercies 1" said he, " forgive these tears ; assist 
" thy servant to lift up his soul to thee ; to lift to 
" thee the souls of thy people I — My friends 1 it is 
u good so to do : at all seasons it is good ; but in 
" the days of our distress, what a privilege it is ! 
" Well saith the sacred book, " Trust in the Lord : 
« at ail times trust in the Lord." " When every 
" other support fails us, when the fountains of world- 
" ly comfort are dried up, let us then seek those 
" living waters which flow from the throne of God. — 
u 'Tis only from the belief of the goodness and wis- 
" dom of a supreme* Being, that our calamities can 
" be borne in that manner which becomes a man. 
" Human wisdom is here of little use ; for, in pro- 
" portion as it bestows comfort, it represses feeling, 
" without which we may cease to be hurt by cala- 
« mity. but we shall also cease to enjoy happiness. — 
" I will not bid you be insensible, my friends i I 



cannot. I cannot, if I would (his tears flowed afresh) 
I feel too much myself, and I am not ashamed of 
my feelings ; but therefore may I the more wil- 
lingly be heard ; therefore have I prayed God to 
give me strength to speak to you ; to direct you 
to him, not with empty words, but with these tears ; 
not from speculation, but from experience, — that 
while you see me suffer, you may know also my 

" You behold the mourner of his only child, the 
last earthly stay and blessing of his declining years I 
Such a child too ! — It becomes not me to speak of 
her virtues ; yet it is but gratitude to mention 
them, because they were exerted towards my- 
self. Not many days ago you saw her young, 

beautiful, virtuous, and happy ;■— ye who are pa- 
rents will judge of my felicity then, — ye will judge 
of my affliction now. But I look towards him who 
struck me ; I see the hand of a father amidst the 

chastenings of my God. Oh ! could I make you 

feel what it is to pour out the heart, when it is 
pressed down with many sorrows, to pour it out 
with confidence to him, in whose hands are life and 
death, on whose power awaits all that the first en- 
joys, and in contemplation of whom disappears all 
that the last can inflict '. — For we are not as those 
who die without hope ; we know that our Re- 
deemer liveth — that we shall live with him, with 
our friends his servants, in that blessed land where 
sorrow is unknown, and happiness is endless as it 
is perfect. — Go then, mourn not for me ; I have 
not lost my child : but a little while, and we shall 
meet again, never to be separated — But ye are 
also nay children : would ye that I should not 
grieve without comfort ? — So live as she lived ; 
that, when your death cometh, it may be the death 
of the righteous, and your latter end like his." 

VOL. I. U 


Such was the exhortation of La Roche ; hU audi- 
ence answered it with their tears. The good old 
man had dried up his at the altar of the Lord ; his 
countenance had lost its sadness, and assumed the 

glow of faith and of hope. — Mr. followed him 

into his house. — The inspiration of the pulpit was 
past ; at sight of him, the scene they last met in 
rushed again on his mind ; La Roche threw his arms 
round his neck, and watered it with his tears. The 
other was equally affected ; they went together, in 
silence, into the parlour where the evening service 
was wont to be performed. — The curtains of the or- 
gan were open : La Roche started back at the sight, 
" Oh 1 my friend V said he, and his tears burst 
forth again. Mr. . had now recollected him- 
self ; he stept forward, and drew the curtains close — 
the old man wiped off his tears, and taking his friend's 
hand, " You see my weakness," said he, " 'tis the 
•* weakness of humanity ; but my comfort is not 

u therefore lost." " I heard you," said the other, 

" in the pulpit ; I rejoice that such consolation is 

u your's." ** It is, my friend," said he, " and I 

" trust I shall ever hold it fast ; — if there are any 
" who doubt our faith ? let them think of what im- 
" portance religion is to calamity, and forbear to 
«' weaken its force ; if they cannot restore our hap- 
" piness, let them not take away the solace of our 
« affliction." 

Mr. 's heart was smitten ; — and I have 

heard him, long after, confess that there were mo- 
ments when the remembrance overcame him even 
to weakness ; when, amidst all the pleasures of phi- 
losophical discovery, and the pride of literary fame, 
he recalled to his mind the venerable figure of the 
good La Roche, and wished that he had never 



IS he a man of fashion ? is the usual question on 
the appearance of a stranger, or the mention of a per- 
son with whom we are unacquainted. But, though 
this phrase be in the mouth of every body, I have 
often found people puzzled when they attempted to 
give an idea of what they meant by it ; and, indeed, 
so many and so various are the qualities that enter 
into the composition of a modern man of fashion, that 
it is difficult to give an accurate definition or a just 
description of him. Perhaps he may, in the general, 
be denned, a being who possesses some quality or 
talent which intitles him to be received into every 
company ; to make one in all parties, and to asso- 
ciate with persons of the highest rank and the first 

If this definition be just, it may be amusing to 
consider the different ideas that have prevailed, at 
different times, with regard to the qualities requi- 
site to constitute a man of fashion. Not to go far- 
ther back, we are told by Lord Clarendon, that, in 
the beginning of the last century, the men of rank 
were distinguished by a stately deportment, a dig- 
nified manner, and a certain stiffness of ceremonial, 
admirably calculated to keep their inferiors at a pro- 
per distance. In those days, when pride of family 
prevailed so universally, it is to be presumed, that no 
circumstance could atone for the want of birth. Nei- 
ther riches nor genius, knowledge nor ability, could 
then have entitled their possessor to hold the rank of 
a man of fashion, unless he fortunately had sprung 
from an ancient and honourable family. The im- 
mense fortunes which we are now accustomed to 
see acquired, almost instantaneously, were then un- 
known. In imagination, however, we may fancy what 
an awkward appearance a modern nabob, or con- 


tractor, would have made in a circle of these proud 
and high-minded nobles. With all his wealth, he 
would have been treated as a being of a different 
species ; and any attempt to imitate the manners 
of the great, or to rival them in expence and splen- 
dour, would only have served to expose him the more 
to ridicule and contempt. 

As riches, however, increased in the nation, men 
became more and more sensible of the solid advan- 
tages they brought along with them ; and the pride 
cf birth gradually relaxing, monied men rose pro- 
portionally into estimation. The haughty lord, or 
prcud country gentleman, no longer scrupled to give 
Lis daughter in marriage to an opulent citizen, or to 
repair his ruined fortune by uniting the heir of his 
title or family with a rich heiress, though cf plebeian 
extraction. These connections daily becoming more 
common, removed, in some measure, the distinction 
of rank ; and every man, possessed of a certain for- 
tune, came to think himself intitled to be treated as 
a gentleman, and received as a man of fashion. A- 
bove all, the happy expedient of purchasing Seats in 
Parliament, tended to add weight and consideration 
to what came to be called the Monied Interest. 
WJien a person, who had suddenly acquired an en- 
ormous fortune, could find eight or ten proper, well- 
dressed, gentlemen-like figures, ready to vote for 
him, as his proxies, in the House of Commons, it is 
not surprising, that, in his turn, he should come to 
look down on the heirs of old established families, 
who could neither cope with him in influence at court, 
nor vie with him in show and ostentation. 

About the beginning of this century, there seems 
to have been an intermediate, though short interval, 
when genius, knowledge, talents, and elegant accom- 
plishments, intitled their possessor to hold the rank 
of a man of fashion, and were even deemed essentially 
requisite to form that character. The society of 


Swift, Pope, Gay, and Prior was courted by all ; and, 
without the advantages of high, birth, or great for- 
tune, an Addison and a Craggs attained the first offi- 
ces in the state. 

In the present happy and enlightened age, neither 
birth nor fortune, superior talents, nor superior abili- 
ties, are requisite to form a man of fashion. On the 
contrary, all these advantages united are insufficient 
to entitle their owners to hold that rank, while we 
daily see numbers received as men of fashion, though 
sprung from the meanest of the people and though 
destitute of every grace, of every polite accomplish- 
ment, and of all pretensions to genius or ability. 

This, I confess, I have often considered as one of 
the greatest and most important improvements in 
modern manners. Formerly it behoved every person 
born in obscurity, who wished to rise into eminence, 
either to acquire wealth by industry or frugality, or 
following a still more laborious and difficult pursuit, 
to distinguish himself by the exertion of superior ta- 
lents in the field or in the senate. But now nothing 
of all this is necessary. A certain degree of know- 
ledge the man of fashion must indeed possess. He 
must be master of the principles contained in the ce- 
lebrated treatise of Mr. Hoyle ; he must know the 
chances of Hazard ; he must be able to decide on any 
dispute with regard to the form of a hat, or the fashion 
of a buckle ; and he must be able to tell my Lady 
Duchess, whether Marechalle powder suits best a 
brown or a fair complexion. 

From the equipage, the dress, the external show 
of a modern man of fashion, a superficial observer 
might be apt to think that fortune, at least, is a ne- 
cessary article ; but a proper knowledge of the world 
leaches us the contrary. A man of fashion must, 
indeed, live as if he were a man of fortune. He must 
rival the wealthiest in expence of every kind ; he 
must push to excess every species of extravagant dis- 
u 2 


sipation ; and he must game for more money than he 
can pay. But all these things a man of fashion can 
do, without possessing any visible revenue whatever. 
This, though perhaps the most important, is not the 
only advantage which the man of fashion enjoys over 
the rest of mankind. Not .o mention that he may 
seduce the daughter, and corrupt the wife of his 
friend, he may also, with perfect honour, rob the son 
of that friend of his whole fortune in an evening ; 
and it is altogether immaterial that the one party was 
intoxicated, and the other sober, that the one was 
skilled in the game, and the other ignorant of it ; 
for, if a young man will insist upon p'aying in such 
circumstances, who but himself can be blamed for 
the consequences ? 

The superiority enjoyed by a man of fashion, in 
his ordinary dealings and intercourse with mankind, 
is still more marked. He may, without any impeach- 
ment on his character and with the nicest regard to 
his honour, do things which, in a common man, 
would be deemed infamous Thus the man of 
fashion may live in luxury and splendour, while his 
creditors are starving in the streets, or rotting in a 
jail ; and, should they attempt to enforce the laws of 
their country against him, he would be entitled to 
complain of it as a gross violation of the respect that 
is due to his person and character. 

The last time my friend Mr. Umphraville was in 
town, I was not a little amused with his remarks on 
the men of fashion about this city, and on the change 
that had taken place in our manners since the time 
he had retired from the world. When we met a 
young man gaily dressed, lolling in his chariot, he 
seldom failed to ask, " What young lord is that ?*' 
One day we were invited to dine with an old acquaint- 
ance, who had married a lady passionately fond of the 
ton, and of every thing that had the appearance of 
tashion. We w T ent at the common hour of dining} 


and after waiting some time, our host (who had in- 
formed us that he would invite nobody else, that we 
might talk over old stories without interruption) pro- 
posed to order dinner ; on which his lady, after chid- 
ing his impatience, and observing that nobody kept 
such unfashionable hours, said, she expected Mr. 

, and another friend, whom she had met at the 

play the evening before, and had engaged to dine 
with her that day. After waiting a full hour longer, 
the noise of a carriage, and a loud rap at the door, 
announced the arrival of the expected guests. They 
entered, dressed in the very pink of the mode ; and 
neither my friend's dress nor mine being calculated to 
inspire them with respect, they brushed past us, and 
addressed the lady of the house, and two young ladies 
wh« were with her, in a strain of coarse familiarity, 
so different from the distant and respectful manner to 
which Mr. Umphraville had been accustomed, that 
I could plainly discover he was greatly shocked 
with it. When we were called to dinner, the two 
young gentlemen seated themselves on each hand of 
the lady of the house, and there ingrossed the whole 
conversation, if a recital of the particulars of their 
adventures at the tavern the evening before deserved 
that name. For a long time, every attempt made by 
our landlord to enter into discourse with Mr. Umphra- 
ville and me proved abortive. At last, taking advan- 
tage of an accidental pause, he congratulated my 
friend on the conquest of Pondicherry. The latter, 
drawing his brows together, and shaking his head 
with an expression of dissent, observed, that although 
he was always pleased with the exertions of our coun- 
trymen, and the bravery of our troops, he could not 
receive any satisfaction from an Indian conquest. He 
then began an harangue on the corruption of manners 
— the evils of luxury — the fatal consequences of a 
sudden influx of wealth — and would I am persuaded, 
"ere he had done, have traced the loss of liberty in 


Greece and the fall of Rome to Asiatic connections, 
had he not been, all at once cut short with the excla- 
mation of " Damn it, Jack, how does the old boy do 
*' to-day ? I hope he begins to get better. — Nay, 
« 4 pr'ythee don't look grave ; you know I am too 
44 much your friend to wish him to hold out long ; 
" but if he tip before Tuesday at twelve o'clock, I 

" shall lose a hundred to Dick Hazard. After 

44 that time, as soon as you please." " Don't you 

44 think, Madam," (addressing himself to one of the 
young ladies) " that when an old fellow has been scrap- 
4i ing money together with both hands for forty years, 
" the civilest thing he can do is to die, and leave it to 
44 a son, who has spirit to spend it ?" Without utter- 
ing a word, the lady gave one look, that, had he been 
able to translate it into language, must, for a time at 
least, have checked his vivacity. But the rebuke be- 
ing too delicate to make any impression on our hero, 
he ran on in the same strain ; and being properly sup- 
ported by his companion, effectually excluded the dis- 
course of every body else. Umphraviile did not once 
again attempt to open his mouth ; and, for my own 
part, as I had heard enough of the conversation, his 
countenance served as a sufficient fund of entertain- 
ment for me. A painter, who wished t© express in- 
dignation, contempt, and pity, blended together, could 
not have found a finer study. 

At length we withdrew ; and we had no sooner got 
fairly out of the house, than Umphraviile began to 
interrogate me with regard to the gentlemen who had 
dined with us. u They are men of fashion," said I — 
44 But who are they ? of what families are they de- 
" scended ?" — " As to that," replied I, " you know 
44 I am not skilled in the science of genealogy ; but, 
44 though I were, it would not enable me to answer 
44 your present enquiries ; for I believe, were you to 
41 put the question to the gentlemen themselves, it 
11 would puzzle either of them to tell you who his 


" grandfather was." — What then," said he, in an de- 
rated tone of voice, " entitles them to be received 
" into company as men of fashion ? Is it extent of 
" ability, superiority of genius, refinement of taste, 
" elegant accomplishments or polite conversation ? I 
" admit, that where these are to be found in an emi- 
" nent degree, they may make up for the want of 
" birth ; but where a person can neither talk like a 
" man of sense, nor behave like a gentleman, I must 
*» own I cannot easily pardon our men of rank for al- 
" lowing every barrier to be removed, and every fri- 
" volous, insignificant fellow, who can adopt the 
u reigaing vices of the age, to be received on an equal 
" footing with themselves. — But after all" continued 
he, in a calm tone, " if such be the manners of our 
u men of rank, it may be doubted whether they, or 
" their imitators, are the greatest objects of con- 



To the Author of the Mirror. 

I HAPPENED lately to dine in a large company, 
where I was in a great measure, unknowing and un- 
known. To enter into farther particulars, would be 
to tell you more than is necessary to my story. 

The conversation, after dinner, turned on that com- 
mon-place question, " Whether a parent ought to 
" chuse a profession for his child, or leave him to 
" chuse for himself?" 

Many remarks and examples were produced on 
both sides of the question ; and the argument hung 


in equilibrio, as is often the case, when al! the spea- 
kers are moderately well-informed, and none of them 
are very eager to convince, or unwilling To be con- 

At length an elderly gentleman began to give his 
opinion. He was a stranger to most of the company ; 
had been silent, but not sullen ; of a steady but not 
voracious appetite ; and one rather civil than polite. 

" In my younger days," said he, " nothing would 
" serve but I must needs make a campaign against 

" the Turks in Hungary." At mention of the 

Turks in Hungary, I perceived a general impatience 
to seize the company. 

" I rejoice exceedingly, Sir," said a young physi- 
cian, " that fortune has placed me near one of your 
" character, Sir, from whom I may be informed with 
" precision, whether lavement of ol. amygd. did in- 
" deed prove a specific in the Hungarian Dysenteria, 
" which desolated the German army V* 

" Ipecacuanha in small doses," added another gen- 
tleman of the faculty, " is an excellent recipe, and 
" was generally prescribed at our hospitals in West- 
** phalia, with great, although not infallible success : 
" but that method was not known in the last wars 
" between the Ottomans, vulgarly termed Turks, 
" and the Imperialists, whom, through an error ex- 
M ceedingly common, my good friend has clcnomina- 
" ted GermaHS." 

" You must pardon me,Doctor," said a third> " ipe- 
" cacuanha, in small doses, was administered at the 
u siege of Limerick, soon after the Revolution ; and 
" if you will be pleased to add seventy-nine, the 
" years of this century, to ten or eleven, which car- 
" ries us back to the siege of Limerick in the last, you 
" will find, if I mistake not, that this recipe has been 
" used for fourscore and nine, or for ninety years." 

" Twice the years of the longest prescription, 
" Doctor," cried a pert barrister from the other end 


of the table, " even after making a reasonable allow- 
44 ance for minorities." 

" You mean if that were necessary," said a thought- 
ful aged person who sat next him. 

" As I was saying," continued the third physician, 
" ipecacuanha was administered in small doses at the 
,k siege of Limerick : for it is a certain fact, that a 
" surgeon in King William's army communicated 
" the receipt of that preparation to a friend of his, 
" and that friend communicated it to the father, or 
" rather, as I incline to believe, to the grandfather, of 
" a friend of mine. I am peculiarly attentive to the 
•' exactitude of my facts ; for iadeed, it is by facts alone 
" that we can proceed to reason with assurance. It 
u was the great Bacon's method." 

A grave personage in black then spoke : — " There 
" is another circumstance respecting the last wars in 
" Hungary, which, I must confess, does exceedingly 
44 interest my curiosity ; and that is, whether General 
" Doxat was justly condemned for yielding up a for- 
" tified city to the Infidels : or whether, being an in- 
u nocent man, and a Protestant, he was persecuted 
" unto death by the intrigues of the Jesuits at the 
u court ©f Vienna ? 

" I knew nothing of General Doxy," said the 
stranger, who had hitherto listened attentively ; " but, 
" if he was persecuted by the Jesuits, I should sup- 
" pose him to have been a very honest gentleman ; 
" for I never heard any thing but ill of the people of 
" that religion." 

" You forget," said the first physician, " the Quin- 
« quina, that celebrated febrifuge, which was brought 
" into Europe by a father of that order, or, as you 
" are pleased to express it in a French idiom, of that 
" religion." 

u That of the introduction of the Quinquina into 
" Europe by the Jesuits is a vulgar error," said the 
second physician : " the truth is, that the secret was 
" communicated by the natives of South-America to 


" a humane Spanish governor whom they loved. He 
44 lold his chaplain of it ; the chaplain, a German 
K Jesuit, gave some of the bark to Dr. Helvetius, of 
44 Amsterdam, father of that Helvetius, who, having 
" composed a book concerning matter, gave it the 
" title of spirit." 

44 What !" cried the third physician, " was that 
" Dr. Helvetius who cured the Queen of France of 
44 an intermittent, the father of Helvetius the re- 
44 nowned philosopher ? The fact is exceedingly cu- 
44 rious ; and I wonder whether it has come to the 
44 knowledge of my correspondent Dr. B ." 

44 As the gentleman speaks of his campaigns," 
said an officer of the army, 44 he will probably be in 
44 a condition to inform us, whether Marshal Saxe is 
44 to be credited when he tells us in his Reveries, 
44 that the Turkish horse, after having drawn out 
44 their fire, mowed down the Imperial infantry I" 

44 Perhaps we shall have some account of Petro- 
44 nius found at Belgrade," said another of the com- 
pany ; 44 but I suspend my enquiries until the gentle- 
44 man has finished his story." 

r 44 I bare listened with great pleasure," said the 
stranger, 44 and, though I cannot say that I under- 
44 stand all the ingenious things spoken, I can see 
u the truth of what I have often been told, that the 
44 Scots, with all their faults, are a learned nation. 

44 In my younger days, it is true, that nothing 
44 would serve me but I must needs make a campaign 
44 against the Turks, or the Hotmen in Hungary ; 
44 but my father could not afford to breed me like a 
44 gentleman, which was my own wish, and so he 
44 bound me for seven years to a ship-chandler in 
44 WappiRg. Just as my time was out, my master 
44 died, and I married the widow. What by marri- 
<4 ages, and what by purchasing damaged stores, 
44 got together a pretty capital. I then dealt in sai- 
44 lors' tickets, and I peculated, as they call it, in 
44 divers things. lam now well known about 'Change ;. 

THK MIRROR. 2 3"1 

" aye, and, somewhere else too," said he, with a sig- 
nificant nod. 

" Now, Gentlemen, you will judge whether my 
" father did not chuse better for me than I should 
" have done for myself. Had I gone to the wars, I 
" might have lost some of my precious limbs, or 
u have had my tongue cut out by the Turks. But 
*' suppose that I had returned safe to Old England, I 
44 might indeed have been able to brag, that I was 
44 acquainted with the laughing man of Hungary, and 
" with Peter, o — I can't hit on his name; and I might 
44 have learnt the way of curing Great Bacon, and 
4 ' known whether a l^urkish horse mowed down Im- 
< 4 perial Infants ; but my pockets would have been 
44 empty all the while, and I should have been put to 
44 hard shifts for a dinner. And so you will see that 
44 my father did well in binding me apprentice to a 
4< ship-chandler — Here is to his memory in a bumper 
" of port ; and success to omnium, and the Irish Tong- 
" tcing I" 

I am, Sir, Sec 


Though I early signified my resolution of declining 
to take any public notice of communications or let- 
ters sent me ; yet there is a set of correspondents 
whose favours, lately received, I think myself bound 
to acknowledge ; and this I do the more willingly, as 
it shows the fame of my predecessors to have ex- 
tended farther than even I had been apt to imagine. 

The Spectator's Club is well known to the literary 
and the fashionable of both sexes ; but I confess I 
was not less surprised than pleased to find it familiar 
(much to the credit of the gentlemen who frequent 
such places) to the very tavern keepers of this city ; 
the greatest part of whom, not doubting that I was to 
follow so illustrious an example, in the institution of 
a convivial society, have severally applied to me, 

vol. i. x 


through the channel of my Editor, to beg that they 
may be honoured with the reception of the Mirror 

Like all other candidates for employment, none of 
them has been at a loss, for reasons why his proposal 
should have the preference. One describes his house 
as in the most public, another recommends his as in 
the most private part of the town. One says, his 
tavern is resorted to by the politest company ; ano- 
ther, that he only receives gentlemen of the most re- 
gular and respectable characters. One offers me 
the largest room of its kind ; another the most quiet 
and commodious. I am particularly pleased with 
the attention of one of these gentlemen, who tells 
me he has provided an excellent elbow-chair for Mr. 
Umphraville ; and that he shall take care to have no 
children in his house to disturb Mr. Fleetwood. 

I am sorry to keep these good people in suspence ; 
but I must inform them, for many obvious reasons, 
that though my friends and I visit them oftener per- 
haps than they are aware cf, it may be a considerable 
time before we find it convenient to constitute a regu- 
lar club, or to make known, even to the master of 
the house which has the honour of receiving us, 
where we have fixed the place of our convention. 

Mean time, as all of them rest their chief preten- 
sions on the character of the clubs who already favour 
them with their countenance, and as the names of 
most of these clubs excite my curiosity to be ac- 
quainted with their history and constitution, I must 
hereby request the landlords who entertain the re- 
spective societies of the Capillaire, the Whin-bush, 
the Knights of the Cap and Feather, the Tabernacle, 
the Stoic, the Poker, the Hum-drum, and the Ante- 
manum, to transmit me a short account of the origin 
and nature of these societies ; — I say the landlords, 
because I do not think myself entitled to desire such 
an account from the clubs themselves ; and because 


it is probable that the most material transactions car- 
ried on at their meetings are perfectly well known, 
and. indeed, may be said to come through the hands 
of the hosts and their deputies. 

Quid minuat curas, quid te tibi reddat amicum. Hon. 

THAT falsi refinement and mistaken delicacy I 
have formerly described in my friend Mr. Fleetwood, 
a constant indulgence in which has rendered all his 
feelings so acute, as to make him be disgusted with 
the ordinary societies of men, not only attends him 
when in company, or engaged in conversation, but 
sometimes disturbs those pleasures, from which a mind 
like his ought to receive the highest enjoyment. 
Though endowed with the most excellent taste, and 
though his mind be fitted for relishing ail the beau- 
ties of good composition ; yet. such is the effect of 
that- excess of sensibility he has indulged, that he 
hardly ever receives pleasure from any of these, 
which is not mixed with some degree of pain. In 
reading, though he can feel ail the excellencies of 
the author, and enter into his sentiments with warmth, 
yet he generally meets with something to offend 
him. If a poem, he complains that, with all its me- 
rit, it is, in some places, turgid, in others languid ; 
if a prose composition, that the style is laboured or 
careless, stiff or familiar, and that the matter is either 
trite or obscure. In his remarks, there is always 
some foundation of truth ; but that exquisite sensi- 
bility which leads to the too nice perception of b'e- 


mishes, is apt to carry him away from the contem- 
plation of the beauties of the author, and gives him 
a degree of uneasiness which is not always compen- 
sated by the pleasure he receives. 

Very different from this turn of mind is that of 
Robert Moiley, Esq. He is a man of very consi- 
derable abilities. His father, (possessed of a consi- 
derable fortune) sent him, when a boy, to an English 
academy. He contracted, from the example of hia 
teachers, an attachment to ancient learning ; and he 
was led to think that he felt and relished the classic*, 
and understood the merits of their composition. From 
these circumstances, he began to fancy himself a man 
of fine taste, qualified to decide with authority upon 
every subject of polite literature. But, in reality, 
Mr. Morlcy possesses as little taste as any one I 
ever knew of his talents and learning. Endowed, by 
Nature, with great strength of mind, and ignorant of 
the feeeleness and weakness of human character, he 
is a stranger to all those finer delicacies of feeling 
and perception which constitute the man of genuine 
taste. But, this notwithstanding, from the persuasion 
that he is a person of fine taste, he reads and talks 
with fancied rapture, of a poem, or a poetical de- 
scription. All his remarks, however, discover that 
he knows nothing of what he talks about ; and almost 
every opinion which he gives differs from the most 
approved upon the subject. Catched by that spirit 
which Homer's heroes are possessed of, he agrees 
with the greatest part of the world in thinking that 
author the first of all poets ; but Virgil he considers 
as a poet of very little merit. To him he prefers 
Lucan ; but thinks there are some passages in Sta- 
tius superior to either. He says Ovid gives a better 
picture of love than Tibullus ; and he prefers Quintus 
Curtius, as an historian, to Livy. The modern writers, 
particularly the French, he generally speahs of with 
contempt. Amongst the Erglish, he likes the style 


of the Rambler better than that of Mr. Addison's 
Spectator ; and he prefers Gordon and Macpherson 
to Hume and Robertson. I have sometimes heard 
him repeat an hundred lines at a stretch, from one 
of the most bombast of our English poets, and have 
seen him in apparent rapture at the high-sounding 
words, and swell of the lines, though I am pretty 
certain that he could not have a distinct picture or 
idea of any one thing the poet meant. Though he 
has no ear, I have heard him talk with enthusiasm 
in praise of music, and lecture, with an air of supe-" 
riority, upon the different qualities of the greatest 
masters in the art. 

Thus, while Mr.* Fleetwood is often a prey to dis- 
appointment, and rendered uneasy by excessive re- 
finement and sensibility, Mr. Morley, without any 
taste at all, receives gratification unmixed and un- 

The character of Morley is not more different from 
Fleetwood's, than that of Tom Dacres is from both. 
Tom is a young man of six-and-twenty, and being 
owner of an estate of about five hundred pounds a- 
year, he resides constantly in the country. He is not 
a man of parts ; nor is he possessed of the least de- 
gree of taste ; but Tom lives easy, contented, and 
happy. He is one of the greatest talkers I ever knew ; 
he rambles, with great volubility, from subject to sub- 
ject ; but he never says any thing that is worth being 
heard. He is every where the same ; and he runs 
on with the like undistinguishing ease, whether in 
company with men in high or in low rank, with the 
knowing or the ignorant. The morning, if the wea- 
ther be good, he employs in traversing the fields, 
dressed in a short coat, and an old slouched hat with 
tarnished gold binding. He is expert at all exercises ; 
and he passes much of his time in shooting, playing 
at cricket, or at nine-pins. If the weather be rainy, 
he moves from the farm-yard to the stable, or from 
x 2 


the stable to the farm-yard. He walks from one end 
of the parlour to the other, humming a tune, Gr whist- 
ling to himself; sometimes he plays on the fiddle, 
or takes a hit at back-gammon. Tom's sisters, who 
are very accomplished girls, now and then put into 
his hands any new book with which they are pleased ; 
but he always returns it, says he does not see the use 
of reading, that the book may be good, is well pleased 
that they like it, but that it is not a thing of his suit. 
Even in the presence cf ladies, he often indulges in 
jokes coarse and indecent, which could not be heard 
without a blush from any other person ; but from 
Tom, for his way is known, they are heard without 
offence. Tom is pleased with «himself, and with 
every thing around him, and wishes for nothing that 
he is not possessed of. He says he is much happier 
than your wiser and graver gentlemen. Tom will 
never be respected or admired ; but he is di-liked by 
none, and made welcome wherever he goes. 

In reflecting upon these characters, I have some- 
times been almost tempted to think, that taste is an 
acquisition to be avoided. I have been apt to make 
this conclusion, when I considered the many unde- 
scribable uneasinesses which Mr. Fleetwood is ex- 
posed to, and the many unalloyed enjoyments of 
Morley and Dacres ; the one without taste, but be- 
lieving himself possessed of it ; the other without 
taste, and without thinking that he has any. But I 
have always been withdrawn from every such reflec- 
tion, by the contemplation of the character of my 
much-valued friend Mr. Sidney. 

Mr. Sidney is a man of the best understanding, and 
of the most correct and elegant taste ; but he is not 
more remarkable for those qualities, than for that un- 
common goodness and benevolence which presides 
in all he says and does. To this it is owing that his 
refined taste has never been attended with any other 
consequence than to add to his own happiness, and to 


that of every person with whom he has any connec- 
tion. Mr. Sidney never unbosoms the secrets of his 
heart, except to a very few particular friends ; but 
he is polite and complaisant to all. It is not, howe- 
ever, that politeness which arises from a desire to 
comply with the rules of the world ; it is polite- 
ness dictated by the heart, and which, therefore, sits 
always easy upon him. At peace with his own mind, 
he is pleased with every one about him ; and he re- 
ceive the most sensible gratification from the thought, 
that the little attentions which he bestows upon others, 
contribute to their happiness. No person ever knew 
better how to estimate the different pleasures of life ; 
but none ever entered with more ease into the en- 
joyments of others, though not suited to his own 
taste. This flows from the natural benevolence of 
his heart ; and I know he has received more delight 
from taking ?/ -hare in the pleasures of others, than 
in cultivating his own. In reading, no man has a 
nicer discernment of the faults of an author ; but 
he always contrives to overlook them ; and says, that 
he hardly ever read any book from which he did not 
receive some pleasure or instruction. 

Mr. Sidney has, in the course of his life, met with 
disappointments and misfortunes, though few of them 
are known, except to his most particular friends. 
While the impression of those misfortunes was 
strongest on his mind, his outward conduct in the 
world remained invariably the same ; and those few 
friends whom he honoured by making partners of his 
sorrows, know that one great source of his consola- 
tion was the consciousness that, under the pressure 
of calamity, his behaviour remained unaltered, and 
that he was able to go through the duties of life with 
becoming dignity and ease. Instead of being peevish 
and discontented with the world, the disappointments 
he has met with have only taught him to become 
more detached from those enjoyments of life which 


are beyond his power, and have made him value more 
highly those which he possesses. Mr. Sidney has, 
for a long time past, been engaged in business of a 
very difficult and laborious nature : but he conducts 
it with equal ease and spirit. Far from the elegance 
and sensibility of his mind unfitting him for the 
management of those transactions which require 
great firmness and perseverance, I believe it is his 
good taste and elegant refinement of mind, which 
enable him to suppert that load cf business ; because 
he knows that, when it is finished, he has pleasure 
in store. He is married to a very amiable and beau- 
tiful woman, by whom he has four fine children. He 
says that, when he thinks it is for them, all toil is 
easy, and all labour light. 

The intimate knowledge I have of Mr. Sidney has 
taught me, that refinement and delicacy of mind, 
when kept within proper bounds, contribute to hap- 
piness ; and that their natural effect, instead of pro- 
ducing uneasiness and chagrin, is to add to the en- 
joyments of life. In comparing the two characters 
of Fleetwood and Sidney, which nature seems to have 
cast in the same mould, I have been struck with the 
fatal consequences to Fleetwood, of indulging his 
spleen at those little rubs in life, which a juster sense 
of human imperfection would make him consider 
equally unavoidable, and to be regarded with the same 
indifference, as a rainy day, a dusty road, or any the 
like trifling inconvenience. There is nothing so in- 
considerable which may not become of importance, 
when made an object of serious attention. Sidney 
never repines like Fleetwood ; and, as he is much 
more respected, so he has much more real happi- 
ness than either Morley or Dacres. Fleetwood's 
weaknesses are amiable ; and, though we pity, we 
must love him ; but there is a complacent dignity in 
the character of Sindey, which excites at once our 
love, respect, and admiration. 




THE following paper was lately received from a 
correspondent, who accompanied it with a promise 
of carrying his idea through some of the other tine 
arts. I have since been endeavouring to make it a 
little less technical, in order to fit it more for general 
perusal ; but, finding I could not accomplish this, 
without hurting the illustrations of the writer, I have 
given it to my readers in the terms in which I re- 
ceived it. 

THE perceptions of different men, arising from 
the impressions of the same object, are very often 
different. Of these we always suppose one to be just 
and true ; all the others to be false. But which is 
the true, and which the false, we are often at a loss 
to determine ; as the poet has said, 

'Tis with our judgments as our watches, none 

Go just alike, vet each believes his own. Pope. 

With regard to our external senses, this diversity 
of feeling, as far as it occurs, is of little consequence ; 
but the truth of perception, in our internal senses, 
employed in morals and criticism, is more interest- 
ing and important. 

In the judgments we form concerning the beauty 
and excellency of the several imitative arts, this dif- 
ference of feeling is very conspicuous ; and it is dif- 
ficult to say why each man may not believe his own, 
or how a standard may be established, by which the 
truth of different judgments may be compared and 
tried. Whether there is, or is not, a standard of 
t .ote, I shall not attempt to determine ; but there is 
a question connected with that, which, properly an- 
swered, may have some effect in the decision : whe- 


therm the imitative arts, a person exercised in the 
practice of the art, or in the frequent contemplation 
of its productions, be better qualified to judge of these, 
than a person who only feels the direct and immedi- 
ate effects of it ? In the words of an ancient critic, 
" An docti, qui rationem operis intelligunt, an qui 
" voluptatem tantum percipiunt, optime dijudicant ?" 
or, as I may express it in English, Whether the artist 
or connoisseur have any advantage over other persons 
of common sense or common feeling ? 

This question shall be considered at present with 
regard to one art only, to wit, that of painting ; but 
some of the principal which I shall endeavour to il- 
lustrate, will have a general tendency to establish a 
decision in all. In the first place, it is proper to 
mention the chief sources of the pleasure we receive 
in viewing pictures. One arises from the perception 
of imitation, however produced ; a second from the 
art displayed in producing such imitation ; and a 
third, from the beauty, grace, agreeableness, and pro- 
priety of the object imitated. These may all occur 
in the imitation of one single object ; but a much 
higher pleasure arises from several objects combined 
together in such a manner, that, while each of them 
singly affords the several sources of pleasure already 
mentioned, they all unite in producing one effect, 
one particular emotion in the spectator, and an im- 
pression much stronger than could have been raised 
by one object alone. 

These seem to be the chief sources of the pleasure 
we receive from pictures ; and, with regard to the 
true and accurate perceptions of each, let us consider 
who is most likely to form them, the painter and con- 
noisseur, or the unexperienced spectator. 

In viewing imitation, we are more or less pleased 
according to the degree of exactness with which the 
object is expressed ; and, supposing the object to be 
a common one, it might be imagined, that every per- 


son would be equally a judge of the exactness of the 
imitation; but, in truth, it is otherwise. Our recol- 
lection of an object does not depend upon any secret 
remembrance of the several parts of which it con- 
sists, of the exact position of these, or of the dimen- 
sions of the whole. A very inaccurate resemblance 
serves the purpose of memory, and will often pass 
with us for a true representation, even of the sub- 
jects that we fancy ourselves very well acquainted 

The self-applause of Zeuxis was not well founded, 
when he valued himself on having painted grapes, 
that so far deceived the birds, as to bring them to 
peck at his picture. Birds are no judges of an accu- 
rate resemblance, when they often mistake a scare- 
crow for a man. Nor had Parrhasius much reason to 
boast of his deceiving even Zeuxis, who, viewing it 
hastily, and from a distance, mistook the picture of 
a linen cloth for a real one. It always requires study 
to perceive the exactness of imitation ; and most 
persons may find, by daily experience, that, when 
they would examine the accuracy of any representa- 
tion, they can hardly do it properly, but by bringing 
together the picture and its archetype, so that they 
may quickly pass from the one to the other, and 
thereby compare the foim, size, and p.oportions of 
all the different parts. Without such study of ob- 
jects as the painter employs to imitate them, or the 
connoisseur employs in comparing them with their 
imitations, there is no person can be a judge of the 
exactness of the representation. The painters, there- 
fore, or the connoisseurs, are the persons who will 
best perceive the truth of imitation, and best judge 
of its merit. It is true, some persons may be ac- 
quainted with certain objects, even better than the 
painters themselves, as the shoemaker was with the 
shoe in the picture of Apelles : but most persons, 
like the same shoemaker, are unfit to extend their 


judgment beyond their last ; and must in other 
parts, yield to the more general knowledge of the 

As we are, in the first place, pleased with viewing 
imitation ; so we are, in the second pUce, with con- 
sidering the art by which the imitation is performed. 
The pleasure we derive from this, is in proportion 
to the difficulty we apprehend in the execution, and 
the degree of genius necessary to the performance of 
it. But this difficulty, and the degree of genius ex- 
erted in surmounting it, can only be well known to 
the persons exercised in the practice of the art. 

When a person has acquired an exact idea of an 
object, there is still a great difficulty in expressing 
that corrc ctedly upon his canvas. With regard to 
objects of a steady figure, they may perhaps be imi- 
tated by an ordinary artist ; but transient objects, of 
a momentary appearance, require still a nicer hand. 
To catch the more delicate expressions of the human 
soul, requires an art of which few are possessed, and 
none can sufficiently admire, but those who have 
themselves attempted it. These are the difficulties 
of painting, in forming even a correct outline ; and 
the painter has yet more to struggle with. To re- 
present a solid upon a plain surface, by the position 
and size of the several parts ; to be exact in the per- 
spective ; by these, and by the distribution of light 
and shade, to make every figure stand out from the 
canvass ; and, lastly, by natural and glowing colours, 
to animate and give life to the whole : these are parts 
of the painter's art^Trom which chiefly the pleasure 
of the spectator, arising from his consciousness of 
the imitation, is derived, but at the same lime, such 
as the uninformed spectator has but an imperfect no- 
tion of, and, therefore, must feel an inferior degree 
of pleasure in contemplating. 

The next of the pleasures derived from 
painting, above taken notice of, is that arising from 


the beauty, the grace, the elegance of the object, 
imitated. When a painter is happy enough to make 
such a choice, he does it by a constitutional taste 
that may be common to all. Raphael could not learn 
it fiom liis master Pietro Perugino ; Rubens, though 
conversant with the best models of antiquity, could 
never acquire it. In judging, therefore, of this part 
of painting, the artist has scarcely any advantage 
above the common spectator. But it is to be observ- 
ed, that a person of the finest natural taste cannot 
become suddenly an elegam formarum spectator, an 
expression which it is scarce possible to translate. 
It is only by comparison that we arrive at the know- 
ledge of what is most perfect in its kind. The Ma- 
donas of Carlo Maratt appear exquisitely beautiful ; 
and it is only when we see those of Raphael that we 
discern their imperfections. A person may even be 
sensible of the imperfections of forms ; but, at the 
same time, may find it impossible to conceive, with 
precision, an idea of the most perfect. Thus Ra- 
phael could not form an idea of the Divine Majesty, 
till he saw it so forcibly expressed in the paintings of 
Michael Angelo. As our judgment, therefore, of 
beauty, grace, and elegance, though founded in per- 
ception, becomes accurate only by comparison and 
experience^ so the painter, exercised in the contem- 
plation of forms, is likely to be a better judge of 
beauty than any person less experienced. 

The last and most considerable pleasure received 
from painting, is that arising from composition. This 
is properly distinguished into two kinds, the pictu- 
resque, and the poetical. To the first belongs the dis- 
tribution of the several figures, so that they may all 
be united and conspire in one single effect ; while 
each is so placed, as to present itself in proportion to 
its importance in the action represented. To this 
also belongs the diversifying and contrasting the atti- 
tudes of different figures, as well as the several mem- 

vol. i. y 


bers of each. Above all, the picturesque composi- 
tion has belonging- to it the distribution of light and 
shade, while every single figure has its proper share 
of each. One mass of light, and its proportionable 
shade, should unite the whole piece, and make every 
part of it conspire in one single effect. To this also 
belongs the harmony, as well as the contrast, of co- 
lours. Now, in all this ordonnance picturesque there 
appears an exquisite art only to be acquired by cus- 
tom and habit ; and of the merit of the execution, 
no person can be a judge but one who has been in 
some measure in the practice of it. It is enough to 
say, that hardly any body will doubt, that Paulo Ve- 
ronese was a better judge of the disposition of figures 
than Michael Angelo ; and that Caravaggio was a 
better judge of the distribution of light and shade 
than Raphael ; so, in some measure, every painter, 
in proportion to his knowledge, must be a better 
judge of the merit of picturesque composition, than 
any person who judges from the effects only. 

With regard to poetical composition, it compre- 
hends the choice of the action to be represented, and 
of the point of time at which the persons are to be 
introduced, the invention of circumstances to be em- 
ployed, the expression to be given to every actor ; 
and, lastly, the observance of the costume, that is, 
giving to each person an air suitable to his rank, re- 
presenting the complexion and features that express 
his temperament, his age, and the climate of his 
country, and dressing him in the habit of the time 
in which he lived, and of the nation to which he be- 

From this enumeration of the several considerations 
that employ the history -painter, it will immediately 
appear, why this department of painting is called 
poetical composition ; for here, in truth, it is the 
imagination of a poet that employs the hand of a 
painter. This imagination is nowise necessarily con- 


nected with the imitative hand. Lucas of Ley den 
painted more correctly, that is, imitated more exact- 
ly, than Salvator Rosa ; but the former did not chuse 
subjects of so much grace and dignity, nor composed 
with so much force and spirit, because he was not a 
poet like the latter. Salvator Rosa has given us ele- 
gant verses full of picturesque description ; and, in 
every one of his pictures, he strikes us by those cir- 
cumstances which his poetical imagination had sug- 
gested. Mow it is plain, that a poetical imagination 
must be derived from nature, and can arise neither 
from the practice of painting, nor even from the study 
of pictures. The painter, therefore, and even the 
connoisseur, in judging of the merit of poetical com- 
position, can have little advantage above other spec- 
tators ; but even here it must be allowed, that if the 
painter has an equal degree of taste, he must, from 
the more frequent exercise of it, have great ad- 
vantages in judging above any other person less ex- 

I have thus endeavoured to shew, that, in judging 
of painting, the painter himself, and even the con- 
noisseur, much engaged and exercised in the study of 
pictures, that is, "illi qui rationem operis intelligunt," 
have advantages above the common spectators, u qui 
" voluptatem tantum precipiunt." But, as a cau- 
tion to the former, it may not be improper to con- 
clude with observing, that the painter and connois- 
seur are often in danger of having their sensibility 
deadened, or their natural taste corrupted, by a know- 
ledge of the technical minutiae of the art, so far as 
to throw the balance towards the side of the common 




AS I walked one evening, about a fortnight ago, 
through St. Andrew's Square, I observed a girl, 
meanly dressed, coming along the pavement at a 
slow pace. When I passed her, she turned a little 
towards me, and made a 6ort of halt ; but said no- 
thing. T am ill at looking any body full in the face, 
s6 I went on a few steps before I turned my eye to 
observe her. She had, by this time, resumed her 
former pace. I remarked a certain elegance in her 
form, which the poorness of her garb could not alto- 
gether overcome ; her person was thin and genteel, 
and there was something not ungraceful in the stoop 
of her head, and the seeming feebleness with which 
she walked. I could not resist the desire, which her 
appearance gave me, of knowing somewhat of her situa- 
tion and circumstance : I therefore walked back and re- 
passed her with such a look (for I could bring myself to 
nothing n ore) as might induce her to speak what she 
seemed desirous to say at first. This had the effect I 
wished. — « Pity a poor orphan !" said she, in a voice 
tremulous and weak. I stopped, and put my hand in 
my pecket : I had now a better opportunity of ob- 
serving her. Her face was thin and pale ; part of it 
was shaded by her hair, of a light brown colour, 
which was parted, in a disordered manner, at her 
forehead, and hung loose upon her shoulders ; round 
them was cast a piece of tattered cloak, which with 
one hand she held across her bosom, while the other 
was half outstretched to receive the bounty I intended 
for her. Her large blue eyes were cast on the ground : 
she was drawing back her hand as I put a trifle into 
it ; on receiving which she turned them up to me, 
muttered something which I could not hear, and then 
letting go her cloak, and pressing her hands together, 
burst into tears. 


It was not thj action of an ordinary beggar, and 
my curiosity was strongly excited by it. I desired 
her to follow me to the house of a friend hard by, 
whose beneficence I have often had occasion to know. 
When she arrived there, she was so fatigued and 
worn out, that it was not till after some means used 
to restore her, that she was able to give us an ac- 
count of her misfortunes. 

Her name, she told us, was Collins ; the place of 
her birth one of the northern counties of England. 
Her father, who had died several years ago, left her 
remaining parent with the charge of her, then a child, 
and one brother, a lad of seventeen. By his indus- 
try, however, joined to that of her mother, they were 
tolerably supported, their father having died posses- 
sed of a small farm, with the right of pasturage on 
an adjoining common, from which they obtained a 
decent livelihood : that, last summer, her brother 
having become acquainted with a recruiting serjeant, 
who was quartered in a neighbouring village, was by 
him enticed to list as a soldier, and soon after was 
marched off, along with some other recruits, to join 
his regiment : that this, she believed, broke her mo- 
ther's heart, for that she had never afterwards had a 
day's health, and, at length, had died about three 
weeks ago : that, immediately after her death, the 
steward employed by the squire of whom their farm 
was held, took possession of every thing for the ar- 
rears of their rent : that, as she heard her brother's 
regiment was in Scotland when he enlisted, she had 
wandered hither in quest of him, as she had no other 
relation in the world to own her ! But she found, on 
arriving here, that the regiment had been embarked 
several months before, and was gone a great way off, 
she could not tell whither. 

" This news," said she, " laid hold of my heart ; 
" and I have had something wrong here," putting 
her hand to her bosom, " ever since. I got a bed 
y 2 


" and some victuals in the house of a woman here 
" in town, to whom I told my story, and who seemed 
" to pity me. 1 had then a little bundle of things, 
« which I had been allowed to take with me after 
u my mother's death ; but the night before last, 
" somebody stole it from me while X slept ; and so 
" the woman said she would keep me no longer, and 
" turned me out into the street, where I have since 
<? remained, and am almost famished for want." 

She was now in better hands ; but our assistance 
had come too late. A frame naturally delicate, had' 
yielded to the fatigues of her journey, and the hard- 
ships of her situation. She declined by slow but in- 
terrupted degrees, and yesterday breathed her last. 
A short while before she expired, she asked to see 
me ; and taking from her bosom a little silver locket, 
which she told me had been her mother's, and which 
all her distresses could not make her part with, beg- 
ged I would keep it for her dear brother, and give 
it him, if ever he should return home, as "a token of 
her remembrance. 

I felt this poor girl's fate strongly ; but I tell not 
her story merely to indulge my feelings ; I would 
make the reflections it may excite in my readers, 
useful to others who may suffer in similar causes. 
"There are many, I fear, from whom their country 
has called brothers, sons or fathers, to bleed in her 
service, forlorn, like poor Nancy Collins, with " no 
« relation in the world to own them." Their suffer* 
ings are often unknown, when they are such as most 
demand compassion. The mind that cannot obtrude 
its distresses on the ear of pity, is formed to feel their 
poignancy the deepest. 

In our idea of military operations, we are too apt to 
forget the misfortunes of the people. In defeat, we 
think of the fall, and in victory, of the glory of com- 
manders ; we seldom allow ourselves to consider, how 
many, in a lower rank, both events make wretched : 


how many, amidst the acclamations of national tri- 
umph, are left to the helpless misery of the widowed 
and the orphan, and, while Victory celebrates her 
festival, feel, in their distant hovels, the extremities 
of want and wretchedness \ 

It was with pleasure I saw, among the resolutions 
of a late patriotic assembly in this city, an agreement 
to assist the poor families of our absent soldiers and 
seamen. With no less satisfaction I read in some 
late newspapers, a benevolent advertisement for a 
meeting of gentlemen, to consider of a subscription for 
the same purpose. At this season of general and 
laudable exertion, I am persuaded such a scheme 
cannot fail of patronage and success. The benevo- 
lence of this country requires not argument to awaken 
it ; yet the pleasures of its exertion must be increased 
by the thought, that pity to such objects is patriot- 
ism ; that, here, private compassion becomes public 
virtue. Bounties for the encouragement of recruits 
to our fleets and armies, are highly meritorious do- 
nations. These, however, may sometimes bribe the 
covetous, and allure the needy ; but that charity which 
gives support and protection to the families they leave 
behind, addresses more generous feelings ; feelings 
which have always been held congenial to bravery 
and to heroism. It endears to them that home which 
their swords are to defend, and strengthens those ties 
which should ever bind the soldier of a free state to 
his country. 

Nor will such a provision be of less advantage to 
posterity than to the present' times. It will save to 
the state many useful subjects which those families 
thus supported may produce, wiiose lives have for- 
merly been often nurtured by penury to vice, and 
rendered not only useless, but baneful to the com- 
munity ; that community which, under a more kindly 
influence, they might, like their fathers, have en- 
riched by their industry, and protected by their va-- 

850 -wif. MIRROR, 


THOUGH the following letter has been pretty 
much anticipated by a former paper, yet it possesses 
too much merit to ba refused insertion. 

Tq the Author of the Mirror. 
ACTIVITY is one of those virtues indispensably 
requisite for the happiness and welfare of mankind, 
which nature appears to have distributed to them with 
a parsimonious hand. All men seem naturally averse, 
not only to those exertions that sharpen and improve 
the mental powers, but even to such as are necessary 
for maintaining the health, or strengthening the or- 
gans of the body. Whatever industry and enterprize 
the species have at any time displayed, originated in 
the bosom of pain, of want, or of necessity ; or, in 
the absence of these causes, from the experience of 
that listlessness and langour which attend a state of 
total inaction. But with how great a number does 
this experience lead to no higher object than the care 
of external appearances, or to the prostitution of their 
time in trivial pursuits, or in licentious pleasures ? 
The surest, the most permanent remedy, and, in the 
end too, the most delightful, which is to be found in 
unremitted study, or in the labours of a profession, 
is, unhappily, the last we recur to. Of all who have 
risen to eminence in the paths of literature or am- 
bition, how few are there, who at first enjoyed the 
means of pleasure, or the liberty of being idle ? and 
how many could every one enumerate, within the 
circle of his acquaintance, possessed of excellent abi- 
lities, and even anxious for reputation, whom the 
fatal inheritance of a bare competency has doomed 
to obscurity through life, and quiet oblivion when 


Let no man confide entirely in his resolutions of 
activity, in his love of fame, or in his taste for litera- 
ture. All these principles, even where, they are 
strongest, unless supported by habits of industry, and 
roused by the immediate presence of some great ob- 
ject to which their exertion leads, gradually lose, and 
at last resign their influence. The smallest particle 
of natural indolence, like the principle of gravitation 
in matter, unless counterbalanced by continual im- 
pulse from some active cause, will insensibly lower, 
and at last overcome the flight of the sublim- 
est genius. In computing it, we ought to recol- 
lect, that it is a cause for ever present with us, in all 
moods, in every disposition ; and that, from the weak- 
ness of our nature, we are willing, at any rate, to re- 
linquish distant prospects of happiness and advan- 
tage, for a much smaller portion of present indul- 

I have been led into these reflections by a visit 
which I lately paid to my friend Mordaunt, in whom 
they are, unhappily, too well exemplified. I have 
known him from his infancy, and always admired 
the extent of his genius, as much as I respected the 
integrity of his principles, or loved him for the warmth 
and benevolence of his heart. But, since the time 
when he began to contemplate his own character, he 
has often confessed to me, and feelingly complained, 
that nature had infused into it a large portion of indo- 
lence, an inclination to despondency, and a delicacy 
of feeling, which disqualified him for the drudgery 
of business, or the bustle of public life. Frequently, 
in those tedious hours, when his melancholy claimed 
the attendance and support of a friend, have I seen 
a conscious blush of shame and self-reproach mingle 
with the secret sigh, extorted from him by the sense 
of this defect. His situation, however, as second 
son of a family, which, though old and honourable, 
possessed but a small fortune and no interest, abso- 


lutely required that lie should adopt a profession. 
The law was his choice ; and, such is the power of 
habit and necessity, that, after four years spent in the 
study of that science, though at first it had impaired 
his health, and even soured his temper, he was more 
sanguine in his expectation of success, and enjoyed a 
more constant flow of spirits, than I had ever known 
him to do at any former period. The law, unfortu- 
nately, seldom bestows its honours or emoluments 
upon the young- ; and my friend, too reserved, or too 
indifferent, to court a set of men, on whose good-will 
the attainment of practice, in some degree, depends, 
found himself, at the end of two years close attend- 
ance at the bar, though high in the esteem of all 
who knew him well, as poor, and as distant from pre- 
ferment, as when he first engaged in it. All my as- 
surances, that better days would soon shine upon him, 
tnd that his present situation had, at first, been the 
lot of many now raised to fame and distinction, were 
insufficient to support him. A deep gloom settled on 
his spirits, and he had already resolved to relinquish 
this line of life, though he knew not what other to 
enter upon, when the death of a distant relation un- 
expectedly put him in possession of an estate, which, 
though of small extent, was opulence to one that 
wished for nothing more than independence, and the 
disposal of his own time. 

After many useless remonstrances upon my part, 
he set out for his mansion in the country, with his 
mother, and a nephew of eight years old, resolved, 
as he said, to engage immediately hxsome work to be 
laid before the public ; and having, previously given 
me his word that he would annually dedicate a por- 
tion of his time to the society of his friends in town. 
In the course of eighteen months, however, 1 did not 
see him ; and finding that his letters, which had at 
first been full of his happiness, his occupations, and 
the progress of his. work, were daily becoming shorter, 


and somewhat mysterious on the two last of these 
pointsj resolved to satisfy myself by my own remarks 
with regard to his situation. 

1 arrived in the evening, and was shewn into the 
parlour : where the first objects that caught my at- 
tention were a fishing-rod, and two fowling-pieces, in 
a corner of the room, and a brace of pointers stretch- 
ed upon the hearth. On a table lay a German flute, 
some music, a pair of shuttle cocks, and a volume of 
the Annual Register. Looking from the window, I 
discovered my friend in his waistcoat, with a spade 
in his hand, most diligently cultivating a spot of 
ground in the kitchen-garden. Our mutual joy, and 
congratulations at meeting, it is needless to trouble 
you with. In point of figure. I could not help re- 
marking, that Mordaunt, though most negligently 
apparalled, was altered much for the better, being 
now plump, rosy, and robust, instead of pale and slen- 
der as formerly. Before returning to the house he 
insisted that I should survey his grounds, which in 
his own opinion he said, he had rendered a paradise, 
by modestly seconding and bringing forth the inten- 
tions of nature. I was conducted to a young grove, 
which he had planted himself; rested in a hut which 
he had built, and drank from a rivulet for which he 
had tracked a channel with his own hands. During the 
course of this walk, we were attended by a flock of 
tame pigeons, which he fed with grain from his pock- 
et, and had much conversation with a ragged family 
of little bovs and girls, all of whom seemed to be his 
intimate acquaintance. Near a village in our way 
homewards, we met a set of countrymen, engaged at 
cricket, and soon after a marriage company, dancing 
the bride's dance upon the green. My friend, with 
a degree of gaiety and alacrity which 1 had never be- 
fore seen him display, not only engaged himself, but 
compelled me likewise to engage, in the exercise of 
the one, and the merriment of the other. In a field 


before his door, an old horse, blind of one eye, came 
up to us at his call, and eat the remainder of the 
grain from his hand. 

Our conversation for that evening, relating chiefly 
to the situation of our common friends, the memory 
of former scenes in which we had both been engaged, 
and other such subjects as friends naturally converse 
abort after along absence, afforded me little opportu- 
nity of satisfying my curiosity. Next morning I 
arose at my wonted early hour, and stepping into his 
study, found it unoccupied. Upon examining a heap 
of books and papers that lay confusedly mingled on 
the table and the floor, 1 was surprised to find, that by 
much the greater part of them, instead of poiilics, 
metaphysics, and morals (the sciences connected 
with his scheme of writing,) treated of Belles Let- 
tres, or were calculated merely for amusement. The 
Tale of a Tub lay open on the table, and seemed to 
have concluded the studies of the day before. The 
letters of Junius, Brydon's Travels, the World, 
Tristram Shandy, and two or three volumes of the 
British Poets, much used, and very dirty, lay scat- 
tered above a heap of quartos, which, after blowing 
the dust from them, I found to be an Essay on the 
Wealth of Nations, Helvetius de 1'Esprit, Hume's 
Essays, the Spirit of Laws, Bayle, and a common- 
place-book. The last contained a great deal of pa- 
per, and an excellent arrangement, under the heads 
of which, excepting these of anecdote and criticism, 
hardly any thing was collected. The papers in his 
own hand-writing were- a parallel between Mr. Gray's 
Elegy, and Parnell's Night-piece on Death ; some 
detached thoughts on propriety of conduct and beha- 
viour ; a Fairy Tale in vc: se ; and several letters to 
the Author of the Mirror, all of them blotted and 
unfinished. There was besides a journal of his oc- 
cupations for several weeks, from which, as it af- 
fords a picture of his situation, I transcribe a part. 

THE MIRRuR. 2 55 

u Thursday, eleven at night, went to bed : order- 
" ed my servant to wake me at six, resolving to be 
" busy all next day. 

" Friday morning, waked a quarter before six ; 
" fell asleep again, and did not wake till eight. 

" Till nine, read the first act of Voltaire's Maho- 
" met, as it was too late to begin serious business. 

" Ten : having swallowed a short breakfast, went 
" out for a moment in my slippers — The wind having 
" left the east, am engaged, by the beauty of the 
" day, to continue my walk — Find a situation by the 
" river, where the sound of my flute produced a very 
" singular and beautiful echo — make a stanza and a 
" half by way of address to it — visit the shepherd 
" lying ill of a low fever — find him somewhat better 
" (Mem. to send him some wine) — meet the parson, 
" and cannot avoid asking him to dinner — returning 
" home, find my reapers at work — superintend them 
•* in the absence of John, whom I send to inform the 
" house of the parson's visit — read, in the mean 
" time, part of Thompson's Seasons, which I 
u had with me-— From one to six, plagued with the 
" parson's news and stories — take up Mahomet to 
" put me in good humour — finish it, the time allot- 
" ted for serious study being elapsed — at eight, ap- 
" plied to for advice by a poor countryman, who had 
" been oppressed — cannot say as to the law : give 
" him some money — walk out at sun-set, to consider 
" the causes of the pleasure arising from it — at nine, 
" sup and sit till eleven, hearing my nephew read, 
" and conversing with my mother, who wasremark- 
" ably well and cheerful— go to bed. 

" Saturday : some company arrived — to be filled 
" up to-morrow — (for that and the two succeeding 
" days, there was no further entry in the journal.) 
" Tuesday, waked at seven ; but the weather being 
" rainy, and threatening to confine me all day, lay 
" till after nine — Ten, breakfasted and read the news- 

vol. i. z 


K papers — very dull and drowsy — Eleven, day clears 
" up, and I resolve on a short ride to clear my 
« head." 

A few days residence with him shewed me that 
his life was in reality, as it is here represented, a 
medley of feeble exertions, indolent pleasures, secret 
benevolence, and broken resolutions. Nor did he 
pretend to conceal from me, that his activity was not 
now so constant as it had been ; but he insisted that 
he still could, when he thought proper, apply with 
his former vigour, and flattered himself, that these 
frequent deviations from his plan of employment, 
which in, reality, were the fruit of indolence and 
weakness, arose from reason and conviction. " After 
M all," said he to me one day, when I was endea- 
vouring to undeceive him, " after all, granting what 
" you allege, if I be happy, and I really am so, 
" what more could activity, fame, or preferment, be- 

M stow upon me ?" After a stay of some weeks, 

I departed, convinced that his malady was past a 
cure, and lamenting that so much real excellence 
and ability should be thus, in a great measure, lost to 
the world, as well as to their possessor, by the at- 
tendance of a single fault. 

I am, Sir, yours, &c. 



To the Author of the Mirror. 

Mr, Mirror, 

I AM the daughter of a gentleman of easy, though 
moderate fortune. My mother died a few weeks after 
I was born ; and before I could be sensible of the 
loss, a sister of her's, the widow of an English gen- 
tleman, carried me to London, where she resided. 
As my aunt had no children, I became the chief ob- 
ject of her affections ; and her favourite amusement 
consisted in superintending my education. As I grew 
up, I was attended by the best masters ; and every 
new accomplishment I acquired, gave fresh pleasure 
to my kind benefactress. But her own conversation 
tended more than any thing else to form and improve 
my mind. Well acquainted herself with the best au- 
thors in the English, French, and Italian languages, 
she was careful to put into my hands such books as 
were best calculated to cultivate my understanding, 
and to regulate my taste. 

But, though fond of reading and retirement, my 
aunt thought it her duty to mingle in society, as 
much as her rank and condition required. Her house 
was frequented by many persons of both sexes, dis- 
tinguished for elegance of manners, and politeness of 
conversation. Her tenderness made her desirous to 
find out companions for me of my own age ; and, far 
from being dissatisfied with our youthful sallies, she 
seemed never better pleased than when she could add 
to our amusement and happiness. 

In this manner I had passed my time, and had en- 
tered my seventeenth year when my aunt was seized 
with an indisposition, which alarmed me much, 
although her physicians assured me it was by no 
means dangerous. My fears increased, on observing, 


that she herself thought it serious. Her tenderness 
seemed, if possible, to increase ; and, though she 
was desirous to conceal her apprehensions, I have 
sometimes, when she imagined 1 did not observe it, 
found her eyes fixed on me with a mixture of soli- 
citude and compassion, that never failed to overpow- 
er me. 

One day she called me into her closet, and, after 
embracing me tenderly, "My dear Harriet," said she, 
it is vain to dissemble longer : I feel my strength 
decay so fast, that I know we soon must part. 
As to myself, the approach of death gives me lit- 
tle uneasiness ; and I thank Almighty God that I 
can look forward to that awful change, without 
dread, and without anxiety. But when I think, 
my child, of the condition in which I shall leave 

you, my heart swells with anguish 1 You know 

my situation ; possessed of no fortune, the little I 
have saved from my jointure, will be altogether in- 
adequate to support you in that society in which 
you have hitherto lived. When I look back on my 
duct tc wards you, I am not sure that it has 
been ; Itegether prudent. I thought it impossible 
to bestow too much on your education, or to render 
you too accomplished. I fondly hoped to live to 
see you happily established in life, united to a man 
who could discern your merit, who could put a just 
value on all your acquirements. These hopes are 
at an end ; all, however, that can now be done, I 

have done. Here are two papers ; by the one 

you will succeed to the little I shall leave : the 
other is a letter to your father, in which I have 
recommended you in the most earnest manner to 
his protection, and intreated him to come to town 
as soon as he hears of my death, and conduct you 
to Scotland. He is a man of virtue ; and I hope 
you will live happily in his family. One only fear 
I have, and that proceeds from the extreme sensi- 

JHi: mirror. 259 

" bility of your mind, and gentleness of yourdispov 
u sition ; little formed by nature to struggle with the 
" hardships and the difficulties of life, perhaps the en- 
" gaging; softness of your temper lias rather been in- 
« creased by the education you have received. I 
M trust, however, that your good sense will prevent 
a you from being hurt by any little cross untoward 
<; accidents you may meet with, and that it will 
<k enable you to make the most of that situation in 
" which it may be the will of Heaven to place you" 

To all this I could only answer with my tears ; and, 
during the short time that my aunt survived, she en- 
grossed my attention so entirely, that I never once 
bestowed a thought on myself. As soon after her 
death as I could command myself sufficiently, I wrote 
to my father ; and, agreeably to my aunt's instruc- 
tions, inclosed her letter for him ; in consequence of 
which he came to town in a few weeks. Meeting 
with a father, to whose person I was a perfect stran- 
ger, and on whom I was ever after entirely to depend, 
was to me a most interesting event. My aunt had 
taught me to entertain for him the highest reverence 
and respect ; but, though I had been in use to write, 
from time to time, both to him, and to a lady he had 
married not long after my mother's death, I had ne- 
ver been able to draw either the one or the other into 
any thing like a regular correspondence ; so that I 
was equally a stranger to their sentiments and dispo- 
sitions as to their persons. 

On my father's arrival, I could not help feeling,that 
he did not return my fond caresses with that warmth 
with which I had made my account ; and, afterwards, 
it was impossible not to remark, that he was altoge- 
ther deficient in those common attentions which, in 
polite society, every woman is accustomed to receive, 
even from those with whom she is most nearly con- 
nected. My aunt had made it a rule to consider her 
domestics as humble friends, and to treat them as 
z 2 


such ; but my father addressed them with a rough- 
ness of voice and of manner that disgusted them, 
and was extremely unpleasant to me. I was still 
more hurt with his minute and anxious enquiries 
about the fortune my aunt had died possessed of ; 
and, when he found how inconsiderable it was, he 
swore a great oath, that if he had thought she was 
to breed me a fine lady, and leave me a beggar, I 
never should have entered her house. " But don't 
" cry, Harriet," added he, " it was not your fault ; 
" be a good girl, and you shall never want while I 
" have." 

On our journey to Scotland, I sometimes attempt- 
ed to amuse my father by engaging him in conver- 
sation ; but I never was lucky enough to hit on any 
subject on which he wished to talk. After a journey, 
which many circumstances concurred to render rather 
unpleasant, we arrived at my father's house- I had 
been told that it was situated in a remote part of Scot- 
land, and thence I concluded the scene around it to 
be of that wild romantic kind, of all others the best 
suited to my inclination. But instead of the rocks, 
the woods, the waterfalls I had fancied to myself, I 
found an open, bleak, barren moor, covered with 
heath, except a few patches round the house, which 
my father, by his skill in agriculture, had brought to 
bear grass and corn. 

My mother-in-law, a good-looking woman, about 
forty, with a countenance that bespoke frankness and 
good-humour, rather than sensibility or delicacy, re- 
ceived me with much kindness ; and, after giving me 

a hearty welcome to , presented me to her two 

daughters, girls about fourteen or fifteen, with ruddy 
complexions, and every appearance of health and 
contentment. We found with them a Mr. Plow- 
share, a young gentleman of the neighbourhood, 
who, I afterwards learned, farmed his own estate, and 
was considered by my father as the most respectable 


man in the county. They immediately got into a 
dissertation on farming, and the different modes of 
agriculture practised in the different parts of the 
country, which continued almost without interruption 
till some time after dinner, when my father fell fast 
asleep. But this made no material alteration in the 
discourse ; for Mr. Plowshare and the ladies then 
entered into a discussion of the most approved me- 
thods of feeding poultry and fattenting pigs, which 
lasted till the evening was pretty far advanced. It 
is now some months since I arrived at my father's, 
during all which time I have scarcely ever heard any 
other conversation. You may easily conceive, Sir, 
the figure I make on such occasions. Though the 
good-nature of my mother-in-law prevents her from 
saying so, I can plainly perceive that she, as well as 
my sisters, consider me as one who has been ex- 
tremely ill educated, and as ignorant of every thing 
that a young woman ought to know. 

When I came to the country, I proposed to pals 
great part of my time in my favourite amusement of 
reading ; but, on enquiry, I found that my father's 
library consisted of a large family Bible, Dickson's 
Agriculture, and a Treatise on Farriery ; and that 
the only books my mother was possessed of were 5 
the Domestic Medicine, and the Complete House- 

In short, Sir, in the midst of a family happy in 
themselves, and desirous to make me so, I find my- 
self wretched. My mind preys upon itself. When I 
look forward, I can discover no prospect of any peri- 
od to my sorrows. At times I am disposed to envy 
the happiness of my sisters, and to wish that I had 
never acquired those accomplishments from which I 
formerly received so much pleasure. Is it vanity that 
checks this wish, and leads me, at other times, to 
think, that even happiness may be purchased at too 
dear a rate ? 


Some time ago I accidentally met with your paper, 
and at length resolved to describe my situation to you, 
partly to fill up one of rny tedious hours, and partly in 
hopes of being favoured with your sentiments on a spe- 
cies of distress, which is perhaps more poignant than 
many other kinds of affliction that figure more in the 
eyes of mankind. I am, &c. 

E H. B. 


To the Author of the Mirror. 
Duke et decorum est propatria mori. Hon. 


IT has always been a favourite opinion with me, 
" that whoever could make two ears of corn, or 
" two blades of grass, grow upon a fpot of ground 
" where only one grew before, would deserve better 
" of mankind, and do more essential service to his 
" country, than the whole race of politicians put toge- 
" ther." Possessed with this idea, I have long bent 
my thoughts and study towards those enquiries which 
conduce to the melioration of the earth's productions, 
and to increase the fertility of my native country. I 
shall not at present tire you with an account of the va- 
rious projects I have devised, the sundry experiments 
I have made, and the many miscarriages I have 
met with. Suffice it to 6ay, that I have now in my 
brain a scheme, the success of which, I am confident, 
can scarcely fail. The frequent disappointments, 
however, I have formerly experienced, induce me 
to consult you about my plan, before I take any fur- 


ther steps towards carrying it into execution. You 
are an author, Sir, and must consequently be a man 
of learning- : you informed us you had travelled, and 
you must of course be a much wiser man than I, 
who never was an hundred miles from the place 
where I now write : for these reasons, I am induced 
to lay my present scheme before you, and to intreat 
your opinion of it. 

In the introduction to the Tales of Guillaume 
Vade, published by the celebrated Voltaire, is the 
following passage, given as part of the speech ©f 
Vade to his cousin Catharine Vade, when she asked 
him where he would be buried ? After censuring the 
practice of burying in towns and churches, and 
commending the better custom of the Greeks and 
Romans, who were interred in the country, " What 
" pleasure," says he, " would it afford to a good ci- 
" tizen to be sent to fatten, for example, the barren 
" plain of Sablons, and to contribute to raise plenti- 
" ful harvests there ? — By this prudent establishment, 
" one generation would be useful to another, towns 
<l would be more wholesome, and the country more 
" fruitful. In truth, I cannot help saying that we 
" want police in that matter, on account both of the 
" living and the dead." 

To me, Sir, who now and then join the amusement 
of reading to the employment of agriculture, the 
above passage has always appeared particularly de- 
serving of attention ; and I have, at last, formed a 
sort of computation of the advantages which would 
accrue to the country from the general adoption of 
such a plan as that suggested by Monsieur Vade. 
Jf the managers of the public burying-grounds were, 
at certain intervals, and for certain valuable consider- 
ations, to lend their assistance to the proprietors of 
the fields and meadows, how many beneficial conse- 
quences would result to the public ? How many of 
the honest folks, who now lie uselessly mouldering in 


our church-yards, and never did the smallest good 
while alive, would thus be rendered, after death, of 
the most essential service to the community ? How 
many who seemed brought into the world merely 
M Friiges consumere nati," might thus, by a proper 
and just retribution, be employed to produce "fruges" 
similar to those which they consumed while in life ? 
What apleasant and equitable kind of retaliation would 
it be for a borough or corporation to obtain, from the 
bodies of a parcel of fat magistrates, swelled up with 
city-feasts and rich wines, a sum of money that might, 
in some degree, compensate for the expence which 
the capacious bellies of their owners one day cost the 
town-revenue ? 

The general effects of this plan, and the particu- 
lar attention it would necessarily produce in the oeco- 
nomy of sepulture, would remove the complaints I 
have often heard made in various cities, of the want 
of space and size in their burying-grounds. Those 
young men who die of old age at thirty, and the 
whole body of the magistrates and council of some 
towns, who are in such a state of corruption during 
their lives, might very soon be wiade useful after 
their death. It has been often said, that a living 
man is more useful than a dead one ; but I deny it ; 
for it will be found, that if ever my proposal takes 
place, that one dead man, at least of the species 
above mentioned, will be of more use than fifty liv- 
ing ones. 

I am well aware, that most of the fair-sex, and 
some such odd mortals as your Mr. Wentworth or 
Mr. Fleetwood, may possibly be shocked at this plan, 
and may cry out, that it would be a great indelicacy 
done to the remains of our friends. I do not, how- 
ever, imagine this ought to have much weight, when 
the good of one's country is concerned. These very 
people, Mr. Mirror, would not, I dare say, for the 
world, cut the throat of a sheep, or pull the neck of 


a hen off joint ; yet when they are at table, they 
make no scruple to eat a bit of mutton, or the wing 
of a pullet, without allowing a thought of the but- 
cher or the cook to have a place at the entertainment. 
In like manner, when these delicate kind of people 
happen to see a very beautiful field of wheat, which 
is a sight every way as pleasant as a leg of good 
mutton, or a fine fowl, let them never distress them- 
selves by investigating, whether the -field owes its 
peculiar excellence to the church-yard or the stable. 
As the ladies, however, are of very great importance 
in this country, I think it is proper that their good- 
will be gained over, if possible. I would, therefore, 
humbly propose, in compliment to the delicacy of 
their sensations, that their purer ashes never be em- 
ployed in the culture of oats, to fill the bellies of 
vulgar ploughmen and coach-horses. No 1 very far 
be it from me to entertain any such coarse idea. Let 
them be set apart, and solely appropriated to the use 
of parterres and flower-gardens. A philosopher in 
ancient times, 1 forget who, has defined a lady to be 
" an animal that delights in finery ;" and other phi- 
losophers have imagined, that the soul, after death, 
takes pleasure in the same pursuits it was fond of 
while united to the body. What a heavenly gratifica- 
tion, then, will it prove to the soul of a toast, while 
" she rides in her cloud, on the wings of the roaring 
" wind," to look down and view her remains upon 
earth, of as beautiful a complexion, and as gaily 
and gaudily decorated, as ever herself was while a- 

One of your predecessors, Isaac Bickerstaff, I 
think, tells us, that in a bed of fine tulips he found 
the most remarkable flowers named after celebrated 
heroes and kings. He speaks of the beauty and vi- 
vid colouring of the Black Prince, and the Duke of 
Vendome, of Alexander the Great, the Emperor of 
Germany, the Duke of Marlborough, and many 


others. How much more natural, as well as more 
proper, would it be, to have our flowers christened 
after those beautiful females, to whom, in all proba- 
bility, they really owed their peculiar beauty ? We 
might have Lady Flora, Lady Violet, Miss Lily, and 
Miss Rose, and all the beauties of our remembrance 
renovated to our admiring eyes. 

I am much inclined to believe, that the improve- 
ment I am here suggesting was known to, and prac- 
tised by the ancients, particularly by the Greeks and 
Remans ; for we read in their poets of Narcissus, 
Cyax, Smilax, and Crocus, HyacintLus, Adonis, arc! 
Minthe, being after their deaths metamorphosed in- 
to flowers ; and of the sisters of Phaeton, Pyramus 
and Thisbe, Baucis and Philemon, Daphne, Cyparis- 
sus, and Myrrha, and many more, being converted 
into trees. jNow these stories, Mr. Mirror, when 
stripped of their poetical ornaments, can, in my opi- 
nion, bear no other interpretation than that the ashes 
of those people were applied to such useful purposes 
as 1 am now proposing. 

You will here observe, Mr. Mirror, that besides 
the great utility of the scheme, there will be much 
room for the imagination to delight itself, in tracing 
out analogies, and refining upon the general hint I 
have thrown cut. Your Bath Toyman would have 
many very ingenious conceits upon the occasion, and 
would exercise his genius in devising fanciful appli- 
cations of the differcrt manures he would make it 
his business to procure. He would have a plot of 
rue and wormwood raised by old maidens ; he would 
apply the ashes of martyrs in love to his pine-trees ; 
the dust of aldermen and rich citizens might be used 
in the culture of plums and gooseberries ; a set of 
fine gentlemen would be laid aside for the culture of 
cocks-combs, none-so-prettys, and narcissuses ; the 
clergy and church-orlkers would be manure for the 
holly and elder ; and the posthumous productions of 


poets would furnish bays and laurels for their succes- 
sors : but I tire you, Mr. Mirror, with these trifling 
fancies ; the utility of my plan is what I value myself 
upon, and desire your opinion of. 
1 am, Sir, 
Your most obedient humble servant, 

Posthumous Agricola. 



To the Aw.hor of the Mirror. 


I AM one of the young women mentioned in two 
letters which you published in your 12th and 25th 
numbers, though I did not know till very lately that 
our family had been put into print in the Mirror. 
Since it is so, 1 think I too may venture to write you 
a letter, which, if it be not quite so well written as 
my father's (though I am no great admirer of his 
style neither,) will at least be as true. 

Soon after my Lady 's visit at our house, of 

which the last of my father's letters informed you, 
a sister of his, who is married to a man of business 
here in Edinburgh, came with her husband to see 
us in the country ; and, though my sister Mary and 
] soon discovered many vulgar things about them, 
yet, as they were both very good humoured sort of 
people, and took great pains to make themselves a- 
greeable, we could not help looking with regret to 
the time of their departure. When that drew near, 
they surprised us by an invitation to me, to come and 
spend some months with my cousins in town, saying, 

VOL. i. a a 


that my mother could not miss my company at home, 
while she had so good a companion and assistant in 
the family as her daughter Mary. 

To me there were not 30 many allurements in this 
journey as might have been imagined. I had lately 
been taught to look on London as the only capital 
worth visiting ; besides that, I did not expect the high- 
est satisfaction from the society I should meet with 
at my aunt's, which, I confess, I was apt to suppose 
none of the most genteel. I contrived to keep the 
matter in suspense (for it was left entirely to my own 
determination) till I should write for the opinion of 

my friend Lady on the subject ; for, ever 

since our first acquaintance, we have kept up a con- 
stant and regular correspondence. In our letters, 
which were always written in a style of the warmest 
affection, we were in the way of talking with the 
greatest freedom of every body of our acquaintance. 
It was delightful, as her ladyship expressed it, " to 
" unfold one's feelings in the bosom of friendship ;" 
and she accordingly was wont to send me the most 
natural and lively pictures of the company who resort- 
ed to — — ; and I, in return, transmitted her many 
anecdotes of those persons which chance, or a grea- 
ter intimacy, gave me an opportunity of learning. 
To prevent discovery, we corresponded under the sig- 
natures of Hortensia and Leonora ; and some very 
particular intelligence her ladyship taught me not to 
commit to ink, but to set down in lemon juice. — I 
wander from my story, Mr. Mirror ; "but I cannot 
" help fondly recalling (as Emilia in the novel says) 
" those halcyon days of friendship and felicity." 

When her ladyship's answer arrived, I foul d her 
clearly of opinion that I ought to accept of my aunt's 
invitation. She was very jocular on the manners 
which she supposed I should find in that lady's fami- 
ly ; but she said I might take the opportunity of mak- 
ingsome acquirements, which London alone could 


perfect, Edinburgk might, in some degree, commu- 
nicate. She concluded her letter with requesting 
the continuation of my correspondence, and a narra- 
tive of every thing that was passing in town, espe- 
cially with regard to some ladies and gentlemen of 
her acquaintance, whom she pointed out to my par- 
ticular observation. 

To Edinburgh, therefore, I accompanied my aunt, 
and found a family very much disposed to make me 
happy. In this they might, perhaps, have succeeded 
more completely, had I not acquired, from the in- 
structions of Lady , and the company I saw 

at her house, certain notions of polite life with which 
I did not find any thing at Mr. — — *■ ~'s corres- 
pond. It was often, indeed, their good humour 
which offended me as coarse, and their happiness that 
struck me as vulgar. There was not such a thing 
as hip or low spirits among them, a sort of finery 

which, at , I found a person of fashion could 

not possibly be without. 

They were at great pains to shew me any sights 
that were to be seen, with some of which I was real- 
ly little pleased, and with others I thought it would 
look like ignorance to seem pleased. They took me 
to the play-house, where there was little company, 
and very little attention; I was carried to the con- 
cert, where the case was exactly the same. I found 
great fault with both ; for though I had not much 
skill, I had got words enough for finding fault from 

my friend Lady : upon which they made 

an apology for our entertainment, by telling me, that 
the play-house was, at that time, managed by a fid- 
dler, and the concert was allowed to manage itself. 

Our parties at home were agreeable enough. I 
florid Mr. • 's and my aunt's visitors very dif- 
ferent from what I had been made to expect, and 

not at all the cocknies my Lady , and some 

•f her humourous guests, used to describe. They 


were not, indeed, so polite as the fashionable com- 
pany I had met at her Ladyship's ; but they 
were much more civil. Among the rest was my 
uncle-in-law's partner, a good looking young man, 
who, from the first, was so particularly attentive to 
me that my cousins jokingly called him my lover ; 
and even my aunt sometimes told me she believed 
he had a serious attachment to me ; but I took care, 
not to give him any encouragement, as I had always 

heard my friend Lady talk of the wife of 

a bargeoia as the most contemptible creature in the 

The season at last arrived, in which, I was told, 
the town would appear in its gaiety, a great deal of 
good company being expected at the Races. For the 
Races I looked with anxiety, for another reason ; 
my dear Lady ■ was to be here at that pe- 

riod. Of this 1 was informed by a letter from my 
sister. From her ladyship I had not heard for a 
considerable time, as she had been engaged in a 
round of visits to her acquaintance in the country. 

The very morning after her arrival (for I was on 
the watch to get intelligence of her), I called at her 
lodgings. When the servant appeared, he seemed 
doubtful about letting me in ; at last he ushered me 
into a little darkish parlour, where, after waiting about 
half an hour, he brought me word, that his lady could 
not try on the gown 1 had brought then, but desired me 
to fetch it next day at eleven. 1 now perceived there 
had been a mistake as to my person ; and telling the 
fellow, somewhat angrily, thatl wasno mantua-maker, 
desired him to carry to his lady a slip of paper, on 
which 1 wrote with a pencil the well-known name 
of Leonora. On his going up stairs, I heard aloud 
peal of laughter above, and soon after lie returned 

with a message, that Lady ■ was sorry she 

was particularly engaged at present, and could net 
possibly see ice. Think, Sir, with what astorysh- 


ment I heard this message from Hortensia. I left 
the house, I know not whether most ashamed or 
angry ; but afterwards 1 began to persuade myself, 
that there might be some particular reasons for Lady 

. 's not seeing me at that time, which she 

might explain at meeting ; and I imputed the terms 
of the message to the rudeness or" simplicity of the 
footman. All that day, and the next, I waited impa- 
tiently for some note of explanation or enquiry from 
her ladyship, and was a good deal disappointed when 
1 found the second evening arrive, without having re- 
ceived any such token of her remembrance. 1 weni, 
rather in low spirits, to the play. I had not beea 

long in the house, when I saw Lady enter 

the next box. My heart Muttered at the sight; and 
I watched her eyes, that I might take the first op- 
portunity of presenting myself to her notice. I saw 
them, soon after, turned towards me, and immedi- 
ately curtesied, with a significant smile, to my noble 
friend, who being short-sighted, it would seem, 
which, however, I had never remarked before, stared 
at me for some moments, without taking notice of 
my salute, and at last was just putting up a glass to 
her eye, to point it at me, when a lady pulled her by 
the sleeve, and made her take notice of somebody 
on the opposite side of the house. She never after- 
wards happened to look to that quarter where I was 

Still, however, I was not quite discouraged, and, 
on an accidental change of places in our box, con- 
trived to place myself at the end of the bench next 
to her ladyship's, so that there was only a piece of 
thin board between us. At the end of the act, I 
ventured to ask her how she did, and to express my 
happiness at seeing her in town, adding, that I had 
called the day before, but had found her particularly 
engaged. " Why, yes," said she, " Miss Homespun, 
" I am always extremely hurried in town, and have 
a a 3 


44 time to receive only a very few visit* ; but I will be 
44 glad if you will come some morning and breakfast 
4 with me — but not to-morrow, for there is a morn- 
44 ing concert ; nor next day, for I have a musical 
44 party at home. In short, you may come some 
44 morning next week, when the hurry will be over, 
4i and, if I am not gone out of town, I will be hap- 
44 py to see you." I don't know what answer I 
should have made ; but she did not give me an oppor- 
tunity ; for a gentleman in a green uniform coming 
into the box, she immediately made room for him to 
sit between us. He, after a broad stare full in my 
face, turned his back my way, and sat in that pos- 
ture all the rest of the evening. 

I am not so silly, Mr. Mirror, but I can under- 
stand the meaning of all this. My lady, it seems, is 
contented to have some humble friends in the country, 
whom she does not think worthy of her notice in 
town, but I am determined to shew her, that I have 
a prouder spirit than she imagines, and shall go not 
near her, either in town or country. What is more, 
my father shan't vote for her friend at next election, 
if I can help it. 

What vexes me beyond every thing else is, that 
I had been often telling my aunt and her daughters 

of the intimate footing I was on with Lady , 

and what a violent friendship we had for each other ; 
and so, from envy, perhaps, they used to nick-name 
me the Countess, and Lady Leonora. Now that 
they had got this story of the mantua-maker and the 
playhouse (for I was so angry I could not conceal it) 
I am ashamed to hear the name of a lady of quality 
mentioned, even if it be only in a book from the 
circulating library. Do write a paper, Sir, against 
pride and haughtiness, and people forgetting their 
country friends and acquaintance, and yon will very 
much oblige 

Your's, Sec. 
Elizabeth Homespun 


P. S. My uncle's partner, the young gentleman 
I mentioned above, takes my part when my cousins 
joke upoo intimates with great folks ; I think he is 
a much genteeler and better bred man than I tools, 
him for at first. 



AMONG the letters of my correspondents, I have 
been favoured with several containing observations on 
the conduct and success of my paper. Of these, 
some recommend subjects of criticism as of a kind 
that has been extremely popular in similar periodical 
publications, and on which, according to them, I 
have dwelt too little. Others complain, that the cri- 
tical papers I have published were written in a style 
and manner too abstruse and technical for the bulk 
of my readers, and desire me to remember, that in 
a performance addressed to the world, only the lan- 
guage of the world should be used. 

I was last night in a company where a piece of 
conversation on criticism took place, which, as the 
speakers were well-bred persons of both sexes, was 
necessarily of tke familiar kind. As an endeavour, 
therefore, to please botk the above-mentioned corres- 
pondents, I shall set down, as nearly as I can recol- 
lect, the discourse of the company. It turned on 
the tragedy of Zara, at the representation of which 
all of them had been present a few evenings ago. 

" It is remarkable," said Mr. , " what an 

" aera of improvement in the French drama may be 
" marked from the writings of M. de Voltaire. The 
" cold and fedious declamation of the former French 


" tragedians he had taste enough to see was not the 
u language of passion, and genius enough to ex- 
'• ecute his pieces in a different manner. He re- 
«* tained the eloquence of Corneille, and the tender- 
** ness of Racine ; but he never suffered the first to 
P swell into bombast, nor the other to sink into lan- 
" gour. He accompanied them with the force and 
" energy of our Shakespeare, whom he had the 
" boldness to follow ;" — " and the meanness to decry," 
said the lady of the house. — " He has been unjust 

" to Shakespeare, I confess," replied Sir H 

(who had been a considerable time abroad, and has 
brought home somewhat more than the language and 
dress of our neighbours) ; " yet I think I have ob- 
" served our partiality for that exalted poet carry us 
" as unreasonable lengths on the other side. When 
u we ascribe to Shakespeare innumerable beauties, 
" we do him but justice ; but, when we will not allow 
M that he has faults, we give him a degree of praise 
u to which no writer is entitled, and which he, of 
u all men, expected the least. It was impossible* 
u that, writing in the situation he did, he should 
%t have escaped inaccuracies ; suffice it to say, they 
" always arose from the exuberance of fancy, not 
" the sterility of dulness." 

M There is much truth in what you say," answered 

Mr. ; " but Voltaire was unjust when, not 

" satisfied with pointing out blemishes in Shakes- 
" pea re, he censured a whole nation as barbarous for 
w admiring his works. He must, himself, have felt 
"• the excellence of a poet, whom, in this very tragedy 
" of Zara, he has not disdained to imitate, and to 
" imitate very closely too. The speech of Orasmane 
" (or Osman, as the English translation calls him,) 
" beginning, 

M J'aurois d'un oeil serene, d'^ine front inalterable," 

1HE MIRROR. 275 

" is almost a literal copy of the complaint of Othello: 

•Had it rain'd 

All sons of curses on me, &.c. 

44 which is perhaps, the reason why our translator 
44 has omitted it." — " I do not pretend to justify Vol- 

44 taire," returned Sir H ; " yet it must be 

44 remembered, in alleviation, that the French have 
4 i formed a sort of national taste in their theatre, 
44 correct, perhaps, almost to coldness. In Britain, 
44 I am afraid, we are apt to err on the other side ; 
*' to mistake rhapsody for fire, and to applaud a forced 
44 metaphor for a bold one. I do not cite Dryden, 
44 Lee, or the other poets of their age ; for that 
41 might be thought unfair ; but, even in the present 
" state of the English stage, is not my idea war- 
41 ranted by the practice of poets, and the applause 
4i of the audience ? A poet of this country, who in 
*• other passages, has often touched the tender feel- 
44 ings with a masterly hand, gives to the hero of 
a one of his latest tragedies, the following speech : 

Had I a voice like .dEtna when it roars, 
For iii my breast is pent as tierce a fire, 
I'd speak in flames. 

* That a man, in the fervour and hurry of compo- 

4k sition. should set down such an idea, is nothing ; 

4 . 4 that it should be pardoned by the audience, is little ; 

44 but that it should always produce a clap, is strange 

44 indeed !" 

44 And is there nothing like this in French tra- 

44 gedits ?" said the lady of the house ; 44 for there 

44 is, I think, abundance of it in some of ou$ late 

44 imitations of them." — 44 Nay, in the translation of 

44 Zayre, Madam," returned the baronet, 44 Flill has 

44 sometimes departed from the original, to substitute 

4 * a swelling and elaborate diction. He forgets the 

276 THE MIRK0R. 

Jj plain soldierly character of the Sultan's favourite 
(i Orasmin, when he makes him say, 

-Silent and dark 

Tli* unbreathing world is hush'd, as if it heard 
And listen'd to your sorrows. 

w The original is simple description ; 

" Tout dort, tout est tranquille, et I'ombre de ia nuit."— 

" And when the slave, in the fourth act, brings the 

u fatal letter to the Sultan, and mentions the circum- 

" stances of its interception, the translator makes 

" Osman stay to utter a sentiment, which is always 

" applauded on the English stage, but is certainly, 

" however noble in itself, very ill-placed here : 

-Approach me like a subject 

That serves the prince, yet not forgets the man. 

" Osman had no breath for words : Voltaire gives him 
" but five hurried ones : 

" Donne — qui la portajt ?— donne." 

" I am quite of your opinion, Sir H ," said 

Mr. ; " and I may add, that even Voltaire 

44 seems to me too profuse of sentiments in Zara, 
44 which, beautiful, as they are, and though expres- 
44 sed with infinite delicacy, are yet somewhat foreign 
44 to that native language which feeling dictates, and 
" by which it is removed. I weep at a few simple 
44 words expressive of distress ; I pause to admire a 
" sentiment, and my pity is forgotten. The single line 
44 uttered by Lusignan, at the close of his description 
44 of the massacre of his wife and children, 

■' Helas! et j'etais pere, et je ne pus mourir," 


u moves me more than a thousand sentiments, how 
H just or eloquent soever." 

" If we think of the noblest use of tragedy," said 
Mrs. , " we shall, perhaps, Sir, not be quite 

" of your opinion. I, who am a mother, wish my 
" children to learn some other virtues, beside com- 
* passion, at a play ; it is certainly of greater con- 
u sequence to improve the mind than to melt it." 

" I am sure, mamma," said a young lady, her 

daughter, w the sentiments of tragedy affect me as 
" much as the most piteous description. When I 
" hear an exalted sentiment, I feel my heart, as it 
" were, swell in my bosom, and it is always follow- 
" ed by a gush of tears from my eyes." — " You tell 
" us the effects of your feelings, child ; but you djn't 
« distinguish the feelings themselves* — I would have, 
" gentlemen," continued she, " a play to be vtrtu- 
4 « ous in its sentiments, and also natural in its events. 
" The want of the latter quality, as well as of the 
" former, has a bad effect on young persons ; it leads 
u them to suppose, that such a conduct is natural 
" and allowable in common life, and encourages that 
" romantic deception which is too apt to grow up in 
" minds of sensibility. Don't you think, that the sud- 
" den conversion of Zara to Christianity, unsupport- 
" ed by argument, or coaviction of its truth, is high- 
" ly unnatural, and may have such a tendency as I 

" have mentioned r" " I confess," said Mr. , 

« that has always appeared to me an exceptionable 

" passage." « I do not believe, mamma," said 

the young lady, " that she was really converted in 
" opinion ; but I don't wonder at her crying out she 
" was a Christian, after such a speech as that of her 
" father Lusignan. I know my heart was so wrung 
" with the scene, that I could, at that moment, have 
" almost become Mahometan, to have comforted the 

u good old man." Her mother smiled ; for this 

was exactly a confirmation of her remark. 


" Voltaire,'* said Sir H , " has, like many 

" other authors, introduced a dark scene into the last 
" act of this tragedy ; yet it appears to me, that 
" such a scene gees beyond the power of stage-de- 

* ception, and always hurts the piece. We cannot 
■* possibly suppose, that two persons walking upon 
" the same board do not see each other, while we, 
" sitting in a distant part of the house, see both per- 

" fectly well." " I do recollect," said the young 

lady, " at first wondering how Zara could fail to see 

" Osman ; but I soon forgot it." rt Thus it al- 

" ways is," replied Mr. M , " in such a case ; 

" if a poet has eloquence or genius enough to com- 
" mand the passions, he easily gets the better of 
" those stage improbabilities. In truth, the scenic 
il deception is of a very singular nature. It is im- 
K possible we should imagine ourselves spectators of 
M the real scene, of which the stage one is an imi- 
" tation ; the utmost length we are, in reality car- 
" ried, is to deliver over our minds to that sym- 
" pathy, which a proper and striking representation 

* of grief, rage, or any other passion, produces. 
" You destroy the deception, it is said, when any 
u thing impertinent or ludicrous happens on the 
" stage, or among the audience ; but you will find 
" the very same effect, if a child blows his three- 
" halfpenny trumpet, in the midst of a solo of I is- 
" cher, or a song of Rauzzini ; it stops the delight- 
" ful current of feeling which was carrying along the 
" soul at the time, and dissatisfaction and pain are 
" the immediate consequence ; yet in the solo or the 
** song, no such deception as the theatrical is pre- 

" tended." Mr. delivered this wiih the 

manner of one who had studied the subject, and no- 
body ventured to answer him. 

" You were mentioning," said Mrs. ■, " ol- 

" taire's imitation of Othello, in this tragedy ; 
" collect, in the lastaict, a very strong instance 


« the concluding speech of Osman, before he stabs 
" himself, which seems to be exactly taken from that 

" of the Moor, in a similar situation." " I remem- 

" ber both speeches well," said Sir H , 4 and I 

«« think it may be disputed, whether either of them 

" be congenial to the situation ?" -You will excuse 

« me, Sir H ," said I, " if I hold them both per- 

*' fectly in nature. The calmness of desperate and 
" irremediable grief will give vent to a speech longer 
" and more methodical than the immediate anguish 
u of some less deep and irretrievable calamity. 
" Shakespeare makes Othello refer, in the instant 
" of stabbing himself, to a story of his killing a 
" Turk in Aleppo ; the moment of perturbation, 
" when such a passage would have been unnatural, 
** is past ; the act of killing himself is then a matter 
u of little importance ; and his reference to a story 
M seemingly indifferent, marks, in my opinion," most 
" forcibly and naturally, the deep and settled horror on 
" Othello's soul. I prefer it to the concluding lines of 
u the Sultan's speech in Zara, which rest on the story 
«* of his own misfortune : 

u Tell 'em, I plung'd my dagger in her breast ; 
" Tell 'em, I so ador'd, and thus reveng'd her." 

" You have talked a great deal of the author," said 
the young lady, " but nothing of the actors. Was 

" not the part of Zara excellently performed :" 

u Admirably, indeed," replied Mr. ; " I know 

" no actress who possesses the power of speaking 

" poetry, beyond Miss Younge." " Nor of feeling 

" it neither, Sir, I think."— iC I did not mean to 

" deny her that quality ; but in the other, I think she 
" is unrivalled. She does not reach, perhaps, the 
" impassioned burst, the electric flash of Mrs. Bar- 
" ry ; nor has she that deep and thrilling note of hor- 
" ror with which Mrs. Yates benumbs an audience ; 

vol. r. b b 


" but there is a melting tremble in her voice, which, 
" in tender passages, is inimitably beautiful and af- 
" feeling. Were I a poet, I should prefer her 
" speaking my lines to that of any actress I ever 
" heard." 

" She owes, I believe," said our Frenchman, " much 
" of her present excellence to her study of the 
" French stage. I mean not to detract from her 
" merit : I certainly allow her more, when I say, 
" that her excellence is, in great part, of her own 
" acquirement, than some of her ill-judged admirers, 
" who ascribe it all to nature. Our actors, indeed, 
" are rarely sensible how much study and application 
" is due to their profession ; people may be spouters 
*' without culture ; but laborious education alone can 
" make perfect actors. Feeling, and the imitative 
" sympathy of passion, are undoubtedly, derived 
" from nature ; but art alone can bestow that grace, 
u tnat refined expression, without which feeling will 
" often be awkward, and passion ridiculous." 



Dec'pimur specie recti. Hor. 

SINCERITY, by which I mean honesty in men's 
dealings with each other, is a virtue praised by every 
one, and the practice of it is, I believe, more com- 
mon than gloomy moralists are willing to allow. The 
love of truth, and of justice, are so strongly implant- 
ed in oar minds, that few men are so hardened, or 
so insensible, as knowingly and deliberately to com- 
mit dishonest actions, and a little observation soon 


convinces those who are engaged in a variety of 
transactions, that honesty is wisdom, and knavery- 

But though, according to this acceptation of the 
phrase, men are seldom insincere, or literally dis- 
honest, in the ordinary transactions of life ; yet, I 
believe, there is another and a higher species of sin- 
cerity, which is very seldom to be met with in any 
degree of perfection ; I mean that sincerity which 
leads a man to be honest to himself, and to his own 
mind, and which will prevent him from being imposed 
upon, or deceived by his own passions and inclina- 
tions. From that secret approbation which our mind 
leads us to give to what is virtuous and honourable, 
we cannot easily bear the consciousness of being dis- 
honest. Hence, therefore, when men are desirous 
to give way to their evil inclinations and passions, 
they are willing, nay, at times, they are even at pains 
to deceive themselves. They look out for some spe- 
cious apology, they seek for some colour and disguise, 
by which they may reconcile their conduct to the ap- 
pearance of right, and may commit wrong, under the 
belief that they are innocent, nay, sometimes that they- 
are acting a praise-worthy part. Thus there are men 
who would abhor the thought of deceiving themselves ; 
and, while they believe that they are sincere, and are 
really so, in the restricted sense in which I have used 
this word, are, in all the important actions of their 
life, under the influence of deceit. 

Eubulus is a judge in one of the courts of law. Eu- 
bulus believes himself a very honest judge ; and it is 
but doing him justice to allow, that he would not, for 
any consideration, knowingly, give an unjust decision ; 
yet Eubulus hardly ever gave a fair judgment in any 
cause where he was connected with, or knew any thing 
about the parties. If either of them happen to be his 
friend or relation, or connected with his friends or rela- 
tions, Eubulus is sure always t» see the cause in a fa- 


vourable light for that friend. If, on the other hand, 
one of the parties happens to be a person whom Eu- 
bulus has a dislike to, that party is sure to lose his suit. 
In the one case, he sits down to examine the cause, 
under all the influence and partiality of friendship ; 
his cool senses are run-away with ; his judgment is 
blinded, and he sees nothing but the arguments on the 
side of his friend, and overlooks every thing stated 
against him. In the other case he acts under the im- 
pressions of dislike, and his judgment is accordingly 
so determined. A cause was lately brought before 
Eubulus, where every feeling of humanity and com- 
passion prompted the wish, that one of the parties 
might be successful ; but the right was clearly on 
the other side. Eubulus sat down to examine it with 
all the tender feelings full in his mind ; they guided 
his judgment, and he determined contrary to justice. 
During all this, Eubulus believes himself honest. In 
one sense of the word he is so ; he does not, knowing- 
ly or deliberately, give a dishonest judgment ; but, 
in the higher and more extensive meaning of the 
word, he is dishonest. He suffers himself to be im- 
posed on by the feelings of friendship and humanity. 
Nay, far from guarding against it, he aids the impo- 
sition, and becomes the willing dupe to his own in- 

Licinius was a man of learning and of fancy : he 

lived at a time when the factions of this country were 

at their greatest height : he entered into aH of them 

with the greatest warmth, and, in some of the principal 

transactions of the time, acted a considerable part. 

With warm attachments, and ungovernad zeal, his 

opinions were violent, and his prejudices deep-rooted. 

Licinius wrote a history of his own times : his zeal 

for the interests he had espoused is conspicuous ; the 

influence of his prejudices is apparent ; his opinion 

of. the characters of the men of whom he writes, is 

almost every where dictated by his knowledge of the 


party to which they belonged ; and his belief or dis- 
belief of the disputed facts of the time, is directed 
by the connection they had with his own favourite 
opinions. Phidippus cannot talk with patience of 
this history or its author ; he never speaks of him 
but as of a mean lying fellow, who knowingly wrote 
the tales of a parly, and who, to serve a faction, 
wished to deceive the public. Phidippus is mistaken ; 
Licinius, in cne sense of the word, was perfectly ho- 
nest ; he did net wish to deceive ; but he was himself 
under the influence of deception. The heat of his 
fancy, the violence of his zeal, led him away ; con- 
vinced that he was much in the right, he was desi- 
rous to be still more so ; he viewed, and was at pains 
to view every thing in one light ; all thip characters, 
and all the transactions of the time, were seen under 
one colour ; and, under this deception he saw, and 
thought, and wrote. When Phidippus accuses Lici- 
nius of being wilfully dishonest, he is mistaken, and 
is under the influence of a like deception with that 
of Licinius. Licinius wrote unfairly, because he saw 
every thing in one light, and was not at pains to guard 
against self deception, or to correct erroneov,; 
ment. Phidippus judges of. 1 icinms unfairly, be- 
cause he also is under the ir-fiiie^e^ of party, he- ause 
his system and opinions are different from those of 
Licinius, and because this leads him to judge harsh- 
ly of every one who thinks like Licinius. 

Lysander is a young man of elegance and senti- 
ment ; but he has a degree of vanity which makes 
him wish to be possessed of fortune, not to hoard, 
hut to spend it. Re has a high opinion of female 
merit ; and would net, for any consideration, think 
of marrying a woman for whom he did not believe 
he felt the most sincere and ardent attachment. In 
this situation of mind he became acquainted with 
Leonora : Leonora's father was dead, and had left 
her possessed of a very considerable fortune ; Lysan- 


der had heard of Leonora, and knew she was pos- 
sessed of a fortune before ever he saw her. She is 
not remarkable either for the beauties of person or 
of mind ; but the very first time Lysander saw her, 
he conceived a prepossession in her favour, and 
which has now grown into a strong attachment. Ly- 
sander believes it is her merit only which has pro- 
duced this ; and he would hate himself, if he thought 
Leonorft's being possessed of a fortune had had the 
least influence upon him. But he is mistaken ; he 
does not know himself, nor that secret power the de- 
sire of wealth has over him. The knowledge of 
Leonora's being an heiress, made him secretly wish 
her to be possessed of personal merit before he saw 
her ; when he did see her, he converted his wishes 
into belief ; he desired to be deceived, and he was so. 
He conceived that she was possessed of every ac- 
complishment of person and of mind ; and his ima- 
gination being once warmed, he believed and thought 
that he felt a most violent attachment. Had Leono- 
ra been without a fortune, she would never have 
drawn Lysander's attention ; he would have never 
thought more highly of her merit than he did of that 
of most other women ; and he would not have be- 
come the dupe of his wishes and desires. 

Amanda is a young lady of the most amiable dis- 
positions. With an elegant form, she possesses a 
most uncommon degree of sensibility. Her parents 
reside at Belfield, in a sequestered part of the coun- 
try. Here she has few opportunities of being in 
society, and her time has chiefly been spent in read- 
ing. Books of sentiment, novels, and tender poetry, 
are her greatest favourites. This kind of rending 
has increased the natural warmth and sensibility of 
her mind : it has given her romantic notions of life, 
and particularly warm and passionate ideas about 
love. The attachment of lovers, the sweet union of 
hearts, and hallowed sympathy of souls, are continu- 


ally pictured in her mind. Philemon, a distant re- 
lation of Amanda's, happened to pay a visit to Bell- 
field. Amanda's romantic notions had hitherto been 
general, and had no object to fix upon. But it is dif- 
ficult to have warm feelings long, without directing 
them to some object. After a short acquaintance, 
Philemon became very particular in his attentions to 
her. Amanda was not displeased with them ; on 
the contrary, she thought she saw in him all those 
good qualities which she felt in her own mind. Eve- 
ry look, that he gave, and every word that he spoke, 
confirmed her in this. Every thing she wished to be 
in a lover, everything her favourite authors told her 
a lover ought to be possessed of, she believed to be 
in Philemon. Her parents perceived the situation of 
her mind. In vain did they represent to her the dan- 
ger she run, and that she had not yet acquaintance 
enough of Philemon to know any thing, with certain- 
ty, about his character. She ascribed these admo- 
nitions to the too great coldness and prudence of age, 
and she disregarded them. Thus did Amanda be- 
lieve herself deeply enamoured with Philemon ; but 
it could not be with Philemon, for she knew little of 
him. She was the dupe of her own wishes ; and 
she deceived herself into a belief that she was 
warmly attached to him, when it was only an ideal 
being of her own creation that was the. object of her 
passion. Philemon may be worthy of the love of 
Amanda, or Amanda may be able to preserve the de- 
ception she is under even after marriage ; but her 
danger is apparent. 

The influence of self-deception is wonderfully pow- 
erful^ * Different as are the above persons, and dif- 
ferent as are their situations, all have been under its 
guidance. As observed above, dishonesty, in our 
ordinary transactions in the world, is a vice which 
only the most corrupted and abandoned are in dan- 
ger of falling into ; but that dishonesty with ourselves, 

286 T»E MIRROR. 

■which leads us to be our own deceivers, to become 
the dupes of our own prevailing passions and inclina- 
tions, is to be met with more or less in every charac- 
ter. Here we are, as it were, parties to the deceit, 
and, instead of wishing to guard against it, we be- 
come the willing slaves of its influence. By this 
means, not only arc bad men deceived by evil pas- 
sions into the commission of crimes, but even the 
worthiest men, by giving too much way to the best 
and most amiable feelings of the heart, may be led 
into fatal errors, and into the most prejudicial mis- 



of th: 


No. Page.' 

1 INTRODUCTORY paper. The reception which a 

work of this sort is likely to meet with. Some ac- 
count of the author and his intentions, 3 

2 Various opinions of the Mirror over-heard by the author 

in the shop of its editor, 7 

3 Of beauty. Philosophical opinions of it ; directions 

for improving and preserving it, 11 

4 The effects of a foreign education, in a letter from L. G. 15 

5 Of pedantry. An extension of that phrase; various 

instances of it, 21 

6 Seclusion and retirement from the world not inconsist- 

ent with talents or spirit ; character of Mr. Umpra- 
ville, 25 

7 The importance of names in writing, in a letter from 

Nomenclator, 29 

8 The Musselman's Mirror, its wonderful properties ; in 

a letter from Vitreus, 34 

9 Censure of a particular piece of decorum at the theatre, 

in a letter from A. W. ; with the author's reflections 
upon it. Note from Ignoramus, 39 

10 Effects of excessive delicacy and refinement ; charac- 

ter of Mr. Fleetwood, 44 

11 On duelling. Regulations proposed ; story of captain 

Douglas, 51 

12 Consequence of little folks of intimacy with great ones, 

in a letter from John Homespun, 57 

13 Remarks on the poems of Ossian, §2 


14 On indolence, 68 

15 Of education. A classical contrasted with a fashionable 

education, 74 

16 Of spring. Effects of that s«ason on some minds, 79 
1 7 Description of a shopkeeper virtuoso, in a letter from 

his wife Rebecca Prune. Observations suggested by 

it, 83 

18 Of national character. Comparison of that of France 

and of England, 88 

19 Some further particulars in the character of Mr. Urn- 

phraville, 93 

20 On the acrimony of literary disputes ; narrative of a 

meeting between Sylvester and Alcander, 98 

21 Difficulties of a bashful author in corresponding with 

the Mirror, in a letter from Y. Z. Description of 

a nervous wife, in a letter from Joseph Meekly, 102 

22 On the restraints and disguise of modern education ; 

character of Cleone ; in a letter from Lxlius, 107 

23 History of a good-hearted man, ho one's enemy but 

hi6 own, 111 

24 Advantage which the artist m the fine arts has over 

nature in the assemblage and arrangement of objects ; 
exemplified in Milton's Allegro and 'Penseroso, 115 

25 Description of the visit of a great lady to the house of 

a man of small fortune, in a second letter from Mr. 
Homespun, 119 

26 The rules of external behaviour, a criterion of manners. 

Modern good-breeding compared with the ancient, 126 

27 The silent expression of sorrow. Feelings and beha- 

viour of Mr. Wentworth, 132 

28 Of our Indian conquests. Opinions of Mr. Umphra- 

ville on that subject, 138 

29 The advantages of politeness, and disagreeable conse- 

quences of affected rusticity. — Short letter from Mo- 
destus, 142 

30 Of female manners. Change of those of Scotland con- 

sidered, 147 

31 Of the art of drawing characters in writing, 152 

32 The inconvenience of not bearing with the follies of 

others ; some particulars of a visit received by the au- 
thor from Mr. Umphraville, 156 

33 Advantages of mutual complacency in persons nearly 

connected \ letters from Mr. and Mrs. Gold, 160 

34 Subject of No. 32, continued ; description of a dinner 

given to Mr. Umphraville by his cousin, Mr. Bearskin, 105 


35 Letter from Eugenius on the doctrines of Lord Ches- 

terfield. — From Bridget Nettlewit on the rudeness of 
an assenter, 171 

36 Reflections on genius unnoticed and unknown ; anec- 

dotes of Michael Bruce, 177 

37 Happiness drawn rather from prospect than possession ; 

exemplified in the history of Euphanor, 181 

38 Scheme of lectures on politeness, by Simulator, 188 

39 Danger, Incident to men of fine feelings, of quarrelling 

with the world, 193 

40 Second part of the lecture on Simulation, 196 

41 Description of a tour through the Highlands, by a Lon- 

don family, 201 

42 Importance of religion to minds of sensibility ; story of 

La Roche, 205 

43 Story of La Roche continued, 210 

44 Story of La Roche concluded, 215 

45 Of the character of a man of fashion, 221 

46 Humourous account of a cross-purpose conversation, in 

a letter from Eutrapelus. — Answer to the masters of 
taverns in relation to the Mirror club, 227 

47 The effects of delicacy and taste on happiness, illustra- 

ted by a description of certain characters, 233 

48 Whether in the pleasure derived from the fine arts, the 

artist or connoisseur has an advantage over the com- 
mon spectator ? This question considered with regard 
to painting, 239 

49 Distresses of the families of soldiers ; story of Nancy 

Collins, 246 

50 Genius and Talents rendered useless to society by indo- 

lence and inactivity : anecdotes of Mr. Mordaunt, 250 

51 Danger of too refined an education to girls in certain 

circumstances, in a letter from Harriet B ■ , 257 

52 Whimsical proposal for an improvement in agriculture, 

by Posthumous Agricola, 262 

53 Behaviour of great ladies in town to their country ac- 

quaintance ; in a letter from Elizabeth Homespun, 267 

54 Recital of a conversation-criticism on the tragedy of 

Zara, 273 

55 Of self-deception, 290